Hey, HEY, hey! We’ve reached the final Friday of February and I have a recap of what’s happening in the Hall of Books, aka Southeast Steuben County Library. Sponsoring Black History Month events with the SUNY Corning Community College Diversity Center has kept us engaged and focused on positive change. There were weekly online programs including special guest speakers, student moderators, local movers and shakers, and our community members engaging in conversation on the unique platform of Zoom. Meeting UK based glass artist Chris Day, athlete/author/activist Etan Thomas, and UK based Kanneh-Mason family of musicians provided opportunities to engage with global voices in a socially distanced way. I find that although we are socially separate in space, this virtual meetup setting we have grown accustomed to is really an amazing tool of Unity. In “Regular Times,” most of our schedules would find resistance to attending these meetings in-person, but the luxury of internet connection and digital devices allows for a greater chance of community connection than ever before. The programming wizard behind this magic is Babatunde Ayanfodun, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Assistant at the college. He stated his goal with these events is to “re-educate and reorient our consciousness.” I completely agree with that mission and look forward to extending these conversations on equity and inclusion throughout the year.
After wonderfully deep-dive conversations with Chris Day and Etan Thomas, I found pure delight in the sound of Live Music being played for our ears from “Across the Pond.” The Kanneh-Masons’ music soothed my spirit and made me realize that what I truly miss in this pandemic is the chance to see musicians perform on stage, feel their music in my pulse, and share the energy of the experience with complete strangers who decide to gather for the pure enjoyment that music brings. I found my toes tapping and goosebumps rising to particular notes from the violin and piano. I reveled in the mastery these kind souls shared with us in the small community of Corning, New York. If the online, virtual events are getting you down, I highly recommend a little musical entertainment to soothe your savage soul.
Filomena Jack was our guest-host for Maker Monday and lead a Book Lover’s Creativity Class. Watch the video recording of her class on our YouTube channel. You might find a selection of other treats. Perhaps you’ll feel inclined to hit the Subscribe button and show a little Library Love. Follow Filomena Jack Studio for more crafty tutorials. Remember to register for her next Maker Monday takeover. It will be a unique virtual class using markers as “water color” to paint an all over floral design.
If you step inside the library building, grab a Take and Make kit from Filomena Jack Studio before they are gone. These kits are a wonderful way to get crafty on your own schedule. All you need to add to this kit is a pair of scissors and a pencil to make your own experimental books! Share your projects in the comments or tag us on social using #CreationStation
Library Advocacy Day is Today. How do you show Love for your Library? This annual campaign is critical to maintain the funding libraries need to provide quality services to their constituents. We asked our patrons to send in their Love Letters to Albany. Are you willing to be a Library Superhero? What is the value of your public library to you and your family? How does your public library impact your life? If you love your library, like we do, you have a part to play in Advocacy Day. Making your voice heard is what helps #FundLIbraries It takes less than two minutes to send your message supporting New York’s Libraries.
Brian Hildreth, the director of our library system, showed his Library Love today. The annual bus trip our Library Super Heroes usually embark upon looked very different this year as a virtual rally. Whether you were part of the action this afternoon, remember that Advocacy does not end today. Support of equal rights, racial equanimity, diversity, and inclusion are still a part of the agenda. While we near the end of Black History Month and look towards the spring, our library will continue to advocate for our patrons. We hope you will return the respect.
That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!