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Audio version

Page 14 • Cognotes 2012 Midwinter Meeting HIGHLIGHTS—Dallas


Harwood

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relevant and significant in the life of our communities, then we need to answer a basic question that Americans are asking themselves today, and that question is not a political question, as some would pretend it is or make it out to be; it's a basic, human question and it's a question that I think libraries are uniquely positioned to work on, and it's this - who can I trust? A simple question; who can I trust?"

"Who can I trust to create safe spaces in my community for me to come back into the public square without worrying that every space will be taken over by acrimony and divisiveness, and the finger-pointing we are so sick and tired of? Who can trust to do that?" Harwood said, noting that they key to answering this question is to turn outward to our communities, focusing less on process than progress and making the community the reference point and not our organizations.

Harwood presented three basic tests about turning outward and whether or not you are doing this:

  • Imagine facing a room of people from your community, could you face them and speak to them about their background and heritage, their concerns and hopes. Can you do that?
  • Think about the pledges you have made and ask if you are moving in the right direction.
  • Consider the urge within yourself, for why you became librarians in the first place. Am I staying true to that urge (which is the greatest gift we have)?

With courage and humility, Har-wood believes people can and must step forward and raise their expectations and the expectations of their communities. "We have too much work to do. What I am here to say to you today that as this earth continues, the reason you are moving forward in the way you are is one of the most important things that you can protect. It's one of the most important things that you can claim and name for yourself, and when it gets ignited in you and you touch someone else, it ignites it in them, and when we do that, we begin to move our communities on a new trajectory."


Conversation

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As participants moved around to join different groups, they were asked to answer several questions, which prompted them to visualize their library in the future.

Regrouping after this exercise, it was clear that a diverse vision had emerged of communities from all socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and age groups, whose members had individual needs ranging from finding a job to finding healthcare; from laid off workers coping with the effects of the economic downturn to new immigrants learning how to become a part of their new communities.

Lankes spoke of these and other "grand challenges" and about how critical it is for libraries to transform as necessary to aid in the aspirationsof our communities. As he talked about the need for libraries to shape themselves to their communities, he also stressed that libraries must shape their communities by expecting more from them.

Lankes said, "The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities."


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ALA Fun Run Race Results

The early hour and chilly temperatures didn't scare away participants of the Midwinter Fun Run 5k & Walk on Saturday, January 21. The race took place at Reverchon Park at Katy Trail in Dallas. The event, sponsored by Innovative Interfaces, was part of the Think Fit @ ALA initiative. The top finishers in each category are listed below.

Overall Female Winners

1. Nancy Fawley, Tuscaloosa, Ala. 22:41
2. Kendal Gerard, Toronto Canada. 25:07
3. Eva Mitnick, Venice Calif. 25:23

Overall Male Winners

1. Eric Forte, Santa Barbara, Calif. 17:53
2. Hank Sway, Belmont, Mass. 19:40
3. Steve Chichester, Minneapolis, Minn . 22:35

18 and Under

Male

1. Bennett Nichols, Fairlawn, Ohio. 32:16

Ages 19—29

Female

1. Julie Ham, Newton, Mass. 28:19.8

Ages 30—39

Female

1. Andrea Falcone, Greeley, Colo. 28:04.8

Male

1. Brian Chalupa, Chicago, Ill . 24:32.8

Ages 40—49

Female

1. Abigail Elder, Portland, Ore. 26:03.2

Male

1. Gerardo Colmenar, Santa Barbara, Calif. 23:13.9

Ages 50—Over

Female

1. Sally Lederer, Minneapolis, Minn. 25:48.5

Male

1. Charles Hanson, Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. 28:03.2

Complete race results can be found at http://www.Eteamz.Com/Racechiptiming/Files/Ala5k.Htm

Think Fit @ALA FunRun 5K & Walk participant Florante Ibanez, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Calif., smiles as he crosses the finish line.


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