The videos on the Anthink libraries were great. I related to the TED video with Pam Smith. The story she told about the boy who had been living in a homeless shelter depicted the challenges of the public library. I have kids who eat dinner everyday in the library through the Feeding America program. Many kids come to the library after school and stay until we close. There is one boy who is in the library until it closes on the weeknights and at the library all day on the weekends too.
This past week I finally caught the parent who kept dropping her small kids, ages 8, 5 and 4 off in the library and leaving. How does a parent leave their kids unattended? The library is a pretty safe place, but we have homeless people, mentally ill people and some weird adult patrons that visit the library. I would never leave my kids unsupervised like that. I feel so bad for the youth that struggle to thrive because of neglect.
The other video where the Colorado library staff were going door to door to meet the residents was something I related to as well. The library where I work is on a busy road. There are lots of small diverse businesses that I have been going door to door to promote library events in the community. A lot of the businesses are different types of ethnic foods and services. Last week I took fliers to many of the businesses to promote a salsa dance party we are having at the library. Going door to door has been a bit tough. The city is still divided by race and people are surprised when you cross the boundaries. For example, often patrons come to the library in need of a notary. There is a notary one block away from the library called Casa Mundo. When a patron asks where is the nearest notary, I say there is a notary called Casa Mundo down the street and they say “what?” I repeat myself and they look at me like I am crazy. No white person feels comfortable enough to go somewhere with a Spanish name. Being from California, I am sometimes shocked by the South and the narrow mindset. In California, Spanish businesses are common and no one would be shocked by a Latino business. Here in Virginia it is a different system filled with traditions and sort of a separate mentality.