Letter from Debbie

January 28, 2021

Depicted in ancient stories as a bearded, wise old man, wearing long robes and a timepiece, Father Time left us at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2020. He imparted his wisdom and reinforced his message – time is passing. I know that we all gave a huge sigh of relief that 2020 was finally over (and with a sigh, many of us silently, or loudly, added…"don’t let the door hit you in the rear as you leave.")

At exactly one second past midnight as the new year dawned on January 1, 2021, we marked the change that everyone desperately needed. In the same ancient stories alongside Father Time is Baby New Year, commonly depicted as a baby swaddled in a diaper and looking at what lies ahead with the promise of rebirth; a new beginning; a fresh start; an important, promising turning point.

The MLA staff conversed about the opportunities ahead of us as a new year dawned and as you can see, they were up for some fun in our cover photo to give you their rendition of Baby New Year. Can you guess who is who?

But more seriously…while I think we were all looking forward to a bright and beautiful 2021, it is somewhat interesting to note that in the first 20 days of the year, we experienced one of the most horrific days in our lifetime AND one of our brightest. Within six days of the calendar turning over, we found ourselves reacting to the violent attack on our nation's Capitol. Fourteen days later, we witnessed the inauguration of Joe Biden as our 46th President, and Kamala Harris as the first woman, first Asian American, and first Black American Vice President.

2021 – What else do you have in store for us? And please, can you take it just a little slower?

We are still in turbulent and tumultuous times. How do we calm things down? Who to trust? Who to believe? What is true? What is false? Perhaps our new administration will be able to help with some of this, but it is painfully obvious that not everyone believes in the same values nor can we agree to the same truths.

Libraries have a big role to play in this truth-finding. Libraries are a trusted source of reliable information. In fact, a report based on Pew Research Survey findings, aiming to understand how people approach facts and information, shows that libraries are the most trusted source of information.

So esteemed colleagues, it is time to step up our game and deepen our resolve to promote truth over fiction, increase media literacy, add diverse voices to the mix, and combat the danger of rampant disinformation infecting our daily discourse.

Such wonderful pillars to uphold in these turbulent and tumultuous times.

Debbie Signatiure

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director

PS And just in case you were wondering…MLA babies pictured from left to right: Lisa, Debbie, Amber and Rachel.

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