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Won’t Get Fooled Again: Day 10

The political and social mix continues to churn across our layers of government. Impeachment of a sitting governor in Illinois (the first in the land of Lincoln in over a century); budget crisis in California forcing unpaid furloughs of government workers and loss of funding for critical medical, social, and education programs. Not to mention the further widespread layoffs throughout all sectors of the economy.

Library opportunities for civic engagement abound — if we can just organize ourselves and our institutions to do so. Though, I well know from experience, the pressures bearing down outside the library are wreaking their own pressures on our own bibliographic decisions. This internal tension may suggest that we duck and cover during the storm. I would suggest that, in a profoundly contrary way, it may be the best time to reach out to our communities and engage them. I am sure there are hundreds of examples out there where special, public and academic libraries alike are reaching out to their communities in specific ways to help deal with the cascading social, economic and political turmoil. Here is one instance, from the Oak Park Library, that speaks to this — watch the videos here and here. And this rather well designed web page about the event here. Note the emphasis on access to demographic and census information.

See you on Day 11.

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