Cross Posted from ALA Core Connect
Greetings from DC/ALA Annual, Core.
I didn’t want to over-prepare my final Happy Friday because I have always thought one of the most important features of these posts was their connection to the current moment. So there is no escaping this important context – today is my last Happy Friday post as Core President, and today, Friday, June 24th, 2022, is the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In doing so, the highest Court in the land has thrown into question the fundamental rights and personhood of every person who can conceive a child. They have opened the door to questioning and undermining LGBTQ rights as well. It is a dark day, and far from a happy one, but I remain hopeful. That is because Core is a community. Libraries are a community. Within our communities, no matter the adversity we face, we can act and work to keep one another safe. We have power, even in the darkest moments, and that power does not come from mere authority. That power flows between us in the connections and trust we build.
I spent this morning first in the ALA Executive Board meeting before we received news of the ruling. I walked with another Core member to the Supreme Court immediately. Tomorrow is a big day for Core- we will have Core 101, Top Tech Trends, the President’s Program, and Happy Hour. Tomorrow we can also be there to comfort one another as we celebrate the year. Today we are bearing witness to history, and I found such balm and joy in coming to the street in front of the high court to find others as angry and committed as myself. I have broken my voice yelling, “My Body / My Choice” and “No Justice / No Peace / Know Justice /Know Peace.” Tomorrow, I may be raspy, but I will be present. If you are in DC, I hope to see you at the events tomorrow and/or at the protests.
Being a longtime ALA member, I am no stranger to taking to the streets in protest or in celebration. In 2015, I was at ALA in San Francisco, and I ran into the streets to celebrate Pride along with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage. In 2017, at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta, I marched with thousands to protest Trump’s inauguration which we knew threaten Roe v. Wade. Last time ALA was in DC in 2019, @Margaret Heller and I took part in a protest to #CloseTheCamps and protect immigrant communities. Library work is activism. To care for community requires action and sharing strength. In my time as Core President, I have tried to use my position to make change. You have lent me power in these conversations, and please know I will always lend you my power and energy back. In these challenging times, we will sometimes feel the impulse to curl up and hide. Sometimes we need to do just that. However, in my last Happy Friday, I encourage you to stand up and stand by your communities whenever you can.
Something that doesn’t get mentioned often enough- the act of doing so makes me feel better, stronger, and safer. Rebecca Solnit said it better than I ever will, “mutual aid and pleasure are linked, the ties that bind are grounds for celebration as well as obligation.”
Happy Friday, Core. Thank you for this gift of a year.
Core President, Loud Lady
Assistant Dean, Scholarly Resources and Curation
University of Rochester