Close

All MCPL branches will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24, and will remain closed on Thursday, November 25, for Thanksgiving Day. Our Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

Back to top

The Library in This Moment, March 2021

The Library in This Moment, March 2021

March 23, 2021

Remembering the past year and a half, I feel that we’ve all been exposed to unexpected tragedy, sometimes unimaginable tragedy, and certainly more than our share of tragedy. When tragedies unfold one on top of another, it is understandable why people may feel numb to the latest heartbreak. I thought about the recent tragedy in Atlanta, heaped atop of everything else, and it is very clear to me that we cannot be numb. We must find words to comfort our Asian American and Pacific Islander friends and family members. It is sad to think that a librarian, surrounded by books full of words cannot find the right ones to utter. I fear that is the case.  

Although I’m struggling to find the right words, I think I can clearly say this: so many tragedies of the past year and beyond seem to come from a failure to appreciate that knowledge should be weighed as more important than unsubstantiated speech or the latest social media post. Libraries have a role to play by helping everyone access quality information. In fact, helping people discern quality information is one of our primary missions. My staff and I believe in open and equal access to the information we all need to participate in our community. Access to quality data, information, knowledge, and wisdom can help us all to better understand those with whom we share our home. 

Last summer, in the midst of another tragedy, I shared that I had signed the Urban Library Council’s Statement on Race and Social Equity. Doing so created a path for our Library staff to follow when it comes to how we want to treat each other and how we want to serve our community. I’d like to remind everyone that we will always be committed to providing the best library experience for everyone in our community.

Everyone is welcome at Mid-Continent Public Library. I believe in radical hospitality. At the same time, I believe that you cannot make some feel welcome while exhibiting inhospitality to others. Additionally, we will not welcome people that target and practice violence against people in our community simply for who those people are. My staff and I view inclusion as a positive trait. We want to include and to serve everyone in our community. However, I do not believe that one can practice inclusivity by excluding others.

I said this in June, and I will say this again with added emphasis: We all have a role to play in creating a more equal, more just, more inclusive, and more welcoming society. Please know, this Library will do its part.  

Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director and CEO

View All Blogs

Read Similar Blogs:
My Community
MCPL News

Resources You May Also Like

American West

Discover original documents about western expansion.
More Info

Biography and Genealogy Master Index

Find biographical resources quickly with this index.
More Info

Kansas City Star Image Edition

View the print version of the Star, 2013 to present.
More Info

Missouri Legal Forms

Browse an online library of legal forms for many situations.
More Info

Blogs You May Also Like

Mid-Continent Public Library Breaks Ground in Liberty
Read More

Mid-Continent Public Library Breaks Ground in Liberty

Mid-Continent Public Library is proud to announce that it will host a
Grandview Branch to Reopen 3/19
Read More

Grandview Branch to Reopen 3/19

Mid-Continent Public Library’s G
From the Director: Library Insights from the Census
Read More

From the Director: Library Insights from the Census

The federal census occurs every 10 years and tells us a lot about what is happening in our community.
MCPL to Help Residents During 2020 Census
Read More

MCPL to Help Residents During 2020 Census

By April 1, 2020, all homes in America should receive a mailed invitation to participate in the 2020 Cen

Was this page helpful? Yes No