As September turns to October, my thoughts turn to thankfulness. My family’s Thanksgiving celebration, like yours, will probably look a little bit different this year. (Pie on the porch, anyone?) And while we may not be able to celebrate in the ways we like to, the practice of gratitude remains valuable
This year, I am very thankful for the library team. They have been unfazed by the challenges this year has brought and have continued to provide services through difficult circumstances. They have done a great job of thinking through new processes and procedures and have worked hard to continue to provide service to the public. Our volunteer library board has been helpful and supportive, ensuring we have the policies and funds in place to operate safely. And I am thankful for our volunteers who are aching to get back to work! We miss you very much and hope to welcome you back soon.
I am thankful for our library community, everyone who comes in to pick up items and to use the space. We have missed you and have enjoyed welcoming you back. Thank you for sharing your warm smiles and your excitement at having full access to the collection again. Our staff are thankful for you every day.
And I’m thankful for books! For the ways that they spark conversations, invite imagination, and broaden our horizons. This month I haven’t finished very many of my own books, but I have read a lot with my son. Here are the highlights:
- All the Colors We Are by Katie Kissinger: This book was an excellent resource for talking with my 4 year old about why people have different shades of skin. It offers a helpful explanation for children, and it gave me more confidence to talk about skin colour with my kids.
- What’s the Difference? Being Different is Amazing by Doyin Richards: A simple, engaging little book for talking about how people are different and that it’s something to celebrate. This is a good book to open conversations with younger children.
- The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson: This is a powerful, moving book that would work well for grade school kids, probably grades 2-3 and higher. It provides a good introduction to the Civil Rights Movement and would provide some context for current conversations around racial injustice and protests.
- Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson: This is a rare picture book that doesn’t have a happy ending. The main character has the opportunity to be kind and befriend a new girl in her class, but she doesn’t take it. The sad ending means this book isn’t for everyone. I think as adults, though, we all can remember and regret our own moments of thoughtless unkindness, and this book will likely prompt some important discussions for you and the children in your life.
- In the adult category, I just finished listening to Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This book in turns infuriated and inspired me. Mr. Stevenson’s faithful and unwavering commitment to his clients in the face of flagrant and seemingly unrelenting injustice is so powerful. Very highly recommended.
- And finally, Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church by Megan Phelps-Roper was another moving true story of a young woman who leaves behind everything she knows when she becomes increasingly uneasy and uncomfortable with the teachings and heavy-handed discipline of the church authorities. This book challenged some of my own presumptions and gave me hope that meaningful and respectful conversations between people with different positions can not only be possible, but transformational.
From all of us at the library, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. May you have much to be thankful for.