Last night was the first meeting of the Mayor's Council for Youth, a think tank to create opportunities for local teens and dispel the stereotypes and perceptions that people who skateboard, or are cosplayers, or gamers, are somehow bad kids. We also want to help those kids who slipped through the cracks and now need community help to get it together.
Last week was also the first time the Borough Comprehensive Planning Committee got to meet and discuss the draft of the plan. This was an 18-month commitment for people who are truly some of the busiest in town. It's a document that gives me pride. Being asked to look into the future and assess what our priorities should be now is a huge task. It requires insight into everything from zoning codes to walkability to community assets to what we'd like to do for our children.
I also attending the Chamber of Commerce board meeting and heard the same buzz about collaboration and the drive to create opportunities for students and business owners alike.
I'm not sure if we all had the worst cases of cabin fever ever, or if there is a new intensity for many of us to approach the betterment of our community with a new set of priorities. Either way, I am continually impressed with the absolute devotions people show for their community. I have never really seen anything quite like it. We are determined.
Sometimes people ask me how doing these things fits into my job. The answer, of course, is how could it not. The role of a public library in a community is only as limited as the library's imagination. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes a board who understands the importance of the library's role as community center/mediator/educator. It also takes internal policy to encourage librarians to reach out into their communities in meaningful ways.
The library is a community asset. So are librarians. We are organized. We are knowledgeable. We are Wonder Woman's chosen occupation. We can guide technology decisions and act as mentors and mediators. And...we like skaters!!