Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A president librarians can love

Minnesota Post: 2009 January 19

So where are you going to remember being the day Barack Obama became president? I’ll be at the library.

Tuesday, the Brookdale and Central Minneapolis libraries will present the inaugural swearing-in ceremony of this author-turned-president live on the big screen. This is the first time either library has screened an inauguration.

“Hundreds of people come through on MLK Day when we screen his 'I Have a Dream' speech, and it seemed natural to follow it this year with the inauguration," says Brookdale youth services librarian Ginger Gomes. "Our library has seen a great deal of interest in Obama. On Election Day, we ran a mock election for kids, and we had a very big response. Obama won by an enormous landslide. There is also a long waiting list for Obama’s ‘Dreams from My Father’ [Current Requests: 133] and books about him have been very popular."

Librarians have a few reasons to love Obama, including the fact that he gave libraries a shout-out in his weekly address on Jan. 3: "To make America, and our children, a success in this new global economy, we will build 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries."

And unlike Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, he has never been known to try to ban a book — not even "The Case against Barack Obama" (current Requests: 44).