Sunday 2 June 2024

Still talkin' about the issues...

I was looking back at my blog posts from ten years ago, and this one particularly struck a chord. I had attended an ALIA New Grads event, and took the opportunity to get some quick vox pops for a Uni assignment on youth services in libraries:

A lot of these felt like a tale as old as time, being:
  • Keeping up with the technology that youth are engaging with and connecting with them on those platforms and devices
  • Ensuring that public and professional communities are aware and appreciative of the professional principles that are embedded in the practice of youth services library professionals.
  • Creating new spaces that are engaging for young people - and ensuring that these spaces continue to be dynamic
In that blog post, I also recounted a story from a librarian who had to contend with parents who did not want their storytime programming to cater for the diversity of their community. Sound familiar?

Reflecting on these things, ten years on, it's so striking to realise that these are issues that have been around for a long time and will likely continue to be issues for the foreseeable future. It's a reminder that sometimes it's less about trying to "fix" these problems, but instead being constantly vigilant and committed to "holding the line", as it were, and aspiring to do better.

And, of course, it's exhausting. When you consider the emotional and cultural labour that goes with some of these issues, and the constant pressure to 'do more than less', it often feels like it's an unending battle that you're never going to win.

But it's better than giving up, right?

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