“I’m grateful and excited and, most of all, ready to get to work with you!”
WOW what an endorsement from the first lady Jill Biden at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Event!
US First Lady Jill Biden opened her talk at the Closing Session of ALA’s Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual on Monday with enthusiasm. A lifelong educator, Biden seemed genuinely excited to address an audience of people who share her belief in the power of literature and learning.
Following an introduction by youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman, who read from her upcoming children’s book, Change Sings (Viking Books for Young Readers), Biden reminisced about her childhood experiences at the library and with reading.
Biden reminisced about her childhood experiences at the library. “When I was a little girl, I’d walk to our local library every 2 weeks and take out as many books as I could carry ” she said. “I’ll never forget the summer nights my mom would let me stay up way too late so that I could finish just one more chapter.”
Libraries have played a central role for students and their communities during the pandemic, Biden said. “Though so many buildings have had to close, the care, creativity, and guidance that you offer became more important than ever as you supported schools and families who depend on you,” she said. “That’s what community is all about.”
Biden stressed the importance of learning for youth and how it helps kids grow into kind, compassionate people. She said that libraries and librarians are instrumental to that growth.
“What you do matters so much,” she said. “In big cities and small towns, libraries fulfill a purpose that almost nothing else does. In a world where this is so much information to wade through, you help students develop their critical thinking skills.”
“My message to you is to never forget what you’re doing matters,”