Sunday Reflections: Talking with Teens about Charlottesville
Yesterday I spent a lot of time talking with The Teen about the events that happened in Charlottesville. We listened to a lot of NPR and talked about what we heard. We talked about what we didn’t hear in our church (in the sermon, although the situation was mentioned, our pastor did not explicitly come out and condemn racism or white nationalism). Today I am gathering resources to try and figure out what I am going to do in my library to help teens navigate and talk about the events of this weekend. Below are some resources that I have found. I will update as I find more. Please share what you are doing or find in the comments. Thank you.
In addition, this is a good time to remind us all that there are a lot of good, important diverse books out there that we need to make sure our in our collections.
♡♡♡ support jewish authors ♡♡♡ pic.twitter.com/IGRY9dA8dz
— sil???? (@thebookvoyagers) August 14, 2017
Although we will encourage our teens to talk about their thoughts and feelings surrounding Charlottesville, no racist or derogatory language will be permitted in our teen spaces. Full stop. This is non-negotiable. Remember that white supremacy and white nationalism is built on the foundational belief that other people groups are not equal and do not deserve equal rights. In many cases, they espouse an outright limitation of civil rights, expulsion of non white people from the United States, or complete annihilation of other races. In order to keep ALL of our patrons safe and feeling welcomed in the library, we will not permit this type of speech in the library. I can’t control what other people think or feel, but I can keep my teens as safe as possible in the library.
This post is a day late because I had to take some time to figure out what I was going to say and because I wanted to make sure and raise other voices that are more important to the discussion then mine.
Filed under: Racism
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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