Lois Langer Thompson speaks during a reception at the Coupeville Library. (Sno-Isle Libraries)

Lois Langer Thompson speaks during a reception at the Coupeville Library. (Sno-Isle Libraries)

Lois Langer Thompson: Libraries offer a thriving community

Whether times are good or tough, libraries are a gathering place that meets the needs of all.

By Lois Langer Thompson / Herald Forum

It has been a hard and heavy time. On top of two years of a pandemic, recent tragedies across our nation have left us stunned and many of us feeling disbelief and exhaustion.

How do we continue to hope and move forward? Libraries can be that hope.

You have a place at your local library with common gathering spaces for all. At any given time, you’ll find students working on assignments, immigrants looking for community resources, travelers researching their next vacation, job seekers checking out laptops and hotspots, and people looking for a warm dry place for the day. And it’s all good. We invite you into our spaces just as you are. Your beliefs, inquisitiveness, and desire to learn are welcome here.

Libraries give me hope. My mission is making sure Sno-Isle Libraries does everything we can to be a place without fear, by leading the community-life we have built together. A life led with kindness and compassion.

The trauma from so many successive national tragedies impacts all of us. Our libraries and library staff are uniquely positioned to bring the community together in a space for all. Community connection is at the core of our work.

We invite you into your library. What does it look like to be invited in? For starters, we are adding 100 open hours beginning on July 5 for you to reconnect with your community at your neighborhood library. At the library I find books and other information that furthers my understanding and beliefs and I also find information that allows me to understand people who have come to different conclusions. I can feel hopeless about all that is happening, or I can choose to take action in my community to create a community that is kind and just. It is about creating a comfortable space both physically and emotionally.

It is important we are gentle with ourselves and with each other. When our world feels fragile, what can you do? My personal call to action is to build community where I am.

Sno-Isle Libraries is centered in connectedness, comfort and hope. Find your library at sno-isle.org.

Lois Langer Thompson is the executive director of Sno-Isle Libraries.

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