Feeling Helpless? Go to the Library

This morning I almost didn’t come to work. I’m the Marketing Manager at the Portage District Library, in Portage, Michigan. Most of the time this means that I try to let people know about programs and resources available to them (and try to find funny things to post on Facebook).

Having woken up to the news about more violence this week, I felt helpless. I felt overwhelmed by how much violence is ravaging our country. Coming in to make flyers and to read tweets seemed pointless.

But then I remembered I was going to the Library.

At its core, a public Library is one of the few places on earth with no sides.
Everyone is welcome no matter what race, creed, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, political view, or any of the other ways we divide and categorize each other.

I feel like today more than ever, the Library reminds us that we can work together. We have this place in each of our communities that stands up proud and tall and invites everyone in to be fed emotionally, intellectually, and yes sometimes literally.

Stop by your library today and you’ll probably see people of all walks of life being taken care of by some amazing staff. There will probably be a homeless person taking a nap because it’s raining outside, and the staff won’t bother them. You’ll see kids of every color playing with each other in the kids area, and having a blast. The rich and poor, old and young, religious and non-religious will all be under the same roof.

So today I’m going to go take a walk around the Library and get a picture of what is possible. The unity and peace we have all collectively built already, and hope that this vision spills out into the streets, and that we all take home a little piece of that Library world with us.