National Library Week 2020

NLW-2020-posterThis week is marked as National Library Week, and the wonderful people at the Association of Christian Librarians (to which I belong) are providing blessed support to the members, especially in these tough times for libraries, librarians, and their assistants.

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The “new normal” – empty libraries, vacant study carrels, and dimmed lights.

Most of us are facing very limited use of libraries and their resources at present, with schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries closed and long-distance classes being held. With no students present and only a few teachers and professors on hand for online instruction, suddenly the physical library with its print books, magazines, and journals seems purposeless. And our communities are experiencing the same thing, as public libraries are temporarily closed as well.

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The new way of teaching – online by Zoom

So why celebrate National Library Week? The members of ACL believe our mission is the same and that our libraries remain the support system for learning and growing. And though we too must work in a different way, we can still offer the means for teaching and learning to take place and even prosper. Digital resources have become more valuable, and I continue to pass on the digital versions of our magazines and journals to faculty and students. But the physical books also remain available to the professors and students as needed. If they have to swing by and grab class items, they can also pick up the books they request. And, if it helps, I have even offered delivery service!

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And so, as we librarians seek to serve our school communities yet during the pandemic, we also encourage and pray for one another. That’s one of the precious things about belonging to the Christian Librarians Association. Every morning we receive a word of encouragement and prayer requests from the leadership. Here’s an example of one that came from our president this week:

What a blessing it is to join with friends and colleagues in prayer this week. Thank you for beginning the week with prayers of thanks for God’s sustaining presence in these times of uncertainty.

Today, I encourage you to pray that God will provide for the wide variety of needs being experienced by the institutions represented within our Association. Many institutions are struggling with the sudden switch in teaching formats, and many are facing extreme financial hardship. I know your libraries are working hard to support students, faculty, and communities even without good access to the resources you would ordinarily provide. Please join me in lifting those institutional needs to the Lord.

Pray for those tasked with leadership responsibilities in each ACL library—trying to provide a sense of continuity and stability to learners who may not know how to seek help, trying to promote and protect library resources in times of financial stress, and trying to provide encouragement to their library teams in their ongoing tasks. Pray for each institution’s leaders—that God’s wisdom will guide and direct their decisions. Finally, pray for each institution’s future and the many people whose education or livelihood depends on them. As you pray for others’ institutions, I hope you’ll find encouragement in knowing that your friends and colleagues are praying for you and your institution, as well.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26

And I would ask you too to pray for us – all of us here at the PRC Seminary. It is not easy being isolated as a school either. We miss the daily contact for teaching and learning, and the blessed Christian fellowship.

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And how can you celebrate National Library Week when the local libraries are closed? One way that comes to mind is to build that family library! What a great opportunity to grow your home library and find some old and new good reads for yourselves and your children. Why not work on a list of classics or favorites,  find them online, and have them delivered! You can still support your local bookstore in this way too. Your library doesn’t have to be that elaborate as the picture above, but think big and aim high! 🙂

Another way is to take virtual tours of famous libraries throughout the world. Here’s one such link to get you started.

Published in: on April 23, 2020 at 10:38 PM  Leave a Comment  

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