This year’s American Library Association Annual Conference was held in Chicago, which has been the scene of several incidents of gun violence.
On Friday at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference,
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s church, located in one of Chicago’s most troubled neighborhoods, opened a session on the topic of how libraries can make a difference.
Pfleger’s remarks were followed by a panel led by C.M. Winters, a librarian at Malcolm X College in Chicago. This seminar supported the ALA and The Harwood Institute’s “The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities” initiative, which positions libraries as conveners and facilitators of community change.
“When somebody says to me how sad, what’s going on in our society, the first I say to them is what are you doing? I’m so tired of people just being sad,” he said. He called upon the members of the audience to be ‘gamechangers’ by volunteering and getting more involved in their communities. We need to put our arms around each other’s children and be neighbors to each other again.”
He urged librarians to be “first responders” in the fight to improve the quality of life in communities suffering from gun violence issues.
Here is a short video clip of his presentation.