The last two weeks have been challenging. As library staff, you are most likely seeing a wide range of reactions to the results of the U.S. presidential election. Emotions are raw, many are scared, and now the question is "how can we bridge such divides in the United States?" Your role on the front lines puts you in a special—and, yes, challenging—place.
Julie B. Todaro, President of the American Library Association, reminds us in a statement this week that "During times like these, our nation's 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues."
For you who are working with the community through these times, we encourage you to enroll in our free webinar coming up on January 11, 2017, Service Excellence in Challenging Times, to learn approaches to customer service skills in order to maintain a safe, welcoming environment.
And in the meantime, consider the program and service ideas shared in the School Library Journal article After Election, Librarians, Book Creators Vow To Support Children. Take a look at the resources shared by librarian Jessamyn West on her blog, and look through WebJunction's many articles, webinars and resources in our Access and Equity section for guidance on making your library a more inclusive community connector. We will showcase more in this subject area as time moves forward, and we hope you will share with us your stories of how you are helping your community bridge divides and come together.
But first, keep in mind the announcement that leads off every flight: "Secure your oxygen mask first before assisting those around you." Take time for constructive and healing self-care in whatever form that takes for you, because your role in the library and in your community is as essential as ever.
We feature new WebJunction articles on our homepage each week. Here are some of our most recent additions.
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Other Free Learning
Even though November is flying by, seven opportunities remain for you to attend free webinars on library-relevant topics. These training opportunities are compiled and shared by the Wyoming State Library. The last seven webinars in the month are:
- November 17, Your Customer-Centric Approach to Digital Transformation, GovLoop; 4 Simple Ways to Beef Up Your Library Marketing, Demco; and pyro-TECH: School Libraries, IGNITE!, Wyoming State Library
- November 18, A Plan for More Meaningful Work and Professional Fulfillment, American Libraries Live
- November 30, NCompass Live: Reader of the Week, Nebraska Library Commission; A Baker's Dozen of Cyber Secure Tips, Lyrasis; and Introduction to Proposal Writing, GrantSpace