I am off at WLA for the rest of the week, trying valiantly to avoid the children’s programmig and literature programs and attend those appropriate for a library administrator. Luckily, I have attended two programs already that demonstrate how much larger subjects also affect children. One was about The San Jose Way where libraries are being reinvented and children and family are being focused on in a new way. Very exciting, modern ideas for restructuring library services and collections.
The second program spoke about serving the people in our communities who live in poverty. There was talk of no longer having fines at all, offering amnesty days if you do, and reconsidering how we can best serve people in need. I think it is so very important for us to be aware that there are children and families in need in every community. I had worked in one of the more affluent resort communities in Wisconsin. One would think there was very little poverty there, but once you began to look beyond the wealth, you realized that there was an entire population living from one vacation season to the next on very little. Add in the new welfare laws, and you have families living on almost nothing. What are we as public libraries going to do about it? How can we help?