I have a real blog post to write, but I don’t feel like writing it today.
Instead I have a few links to share about what’s going on in my hometown of Baltimore. (This blog is not the place to share my personal thoughts – it’s my book blog/storytime blog, not my “Let’s comment on civil unrest” blog, so I won’t say anything on how I feel.)
[It’s worth clarifying here, based on what I’m about to share, that many people don’t realize that “Baltimore” is made up of Baltimore City and Baltimore County, and thus has two different library systems: the Baltimore County Public Library, and the Baltimore City system, the Enoch Pratt Free Library. (Sister A works within BCPL.)]
One of the most notable and positive outcomes of the clashes in Ferguson, MO was the outpouring of love for the Ferguson Public Library, after it became a refuge for adults and children alike. Donations to the tiny space eventually topped $350,000. You also may remember that its director, Scott Bonner, won the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity from the American Library Association.
It seems like the same thing is happening in Charm City.
I urge you to check out the Pratt’s Twitter feed and see how happy and thankful people are to have their library open today as a resource. MTV News (!?) reported on the decision to stay open. (Please send them good vibes, love, and/or prayer, if that’s your thing. Or money, if that is.)
It’s essential that libraries stay open throughout the conflict, because they are a resource. A safe space. A haven. “A hub of comfort and community,” according to the article.
Libraries are all those things and more. And never more so than at times like these.