It’s time for this month’s new Museum of Me exhibit, my unsung hero. I didn’t have to think long and hard about this one because my unsung heroes are, not surprisingly, librarians.
Librarians, and I’m mostly thinking of librarians who work in public libraries, promote life long learning and are the protectors of the people’s university. They hold reading in the highest regard, of course, and are committed to matching any and every reader to the book that’s just right for them. Beyond reading, they are also promoters of cultural enrichment through arts and music, providers of free and valuable programs and entertainment, and are often trailblazers for human rights and social change .
Librarians are staunch defenders of democracy, ensuring free access to all types of information with an equal voice for all. They remain neutral, procuring and presenting materials to help individuals make their own informed decisions, while also doing ensuring that the information available is factual and accurate. They often act as teachers by instructing in the use of technology and computers, as social workers by navigating housing and healthcare and financial forms, as advocates of social justice by sharing books on human rights and personal choice, and as detectives by finding the book with the red cover that’s about 2 inches thick and tells the story of a beloved dog but the patron can’t remember the author or title.
And yet, despite all this good, the librarian is the butt of many a joke. Librarians are portrayed in movies and television as old fashioned and lacking style, as quiet and mousy, as unwelcoming and rude. These stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth as the librarians I know are fun and quirky, friendly and welcoming, and some of the smartest people I know.
Today’s librarians are facing more challenges to books and censorship than ever before. They need our support as they hold the line against an intensely polarized political landscape. I urge you to celebrate the unsung heroes in your community: your public librarians! Tell them you appreciate them. Bring them a sweet treat. And don’t show up with a whole pile of things to photocopy when it’s 2 minutes before closing.
Thanks for visiting this month’s exhibit.