Leaders of social justice have emphasized the importance of solidarity. It is a crucial element for a just society. All of us are or will be subject to marginalization that dramatically affects our lives. It’s in solidarity that great strides towards justice have been made. In that spirit, here are opportunities to show support for our community.
We’re looking for a library superhero!
It took a lot of work to get us to this point, but now there is an opportunity for change. We need a trustee that loves the library and will work to sustain this community resource. We need new voices and leaders that represent the growing diversity of our community. Please apply or spread the word. The application is available on the library’s website and due by October 12: Trustee Vacancy Information
Liberate the Library!
The Niles Youth Community is advocating for the Niles-Maine District library board to commit to anti-racism and choose a new trustee that represents the diversity of our community. You can support these youth in three ways.
Show up at the Liberate the Library Protest on October 20th
Share these opportunities of support with your friends and family
A big thank you to everyone that showed up to our neighborhood stroll and our first volunteer event at WINGS. Our walk gave us a chance to meet library supporters and hear their concerns about the actions of the anti-library trustees.
At WINGS, we sorted donations for 20 hours and helped them clear about half their tables. Neighbors showed up with more bags of donations for the store to help them support people impacted by domestic violence.
Stay tuned for upcoming chances to meet up with like-minded neighbors and give back to the community.
Understanding the underlying racist motivations of the library board takeover is crucial to #SaveNilesLibrary. This is part of a pattern that is happening across the country.
“Unfortunately, Niles-Maine Public Library isn’t the only public library seeing this kind of destruction from the inside. Not all of the tactics are identical, but following a disappointing election for members impassioned by a particular flavor of political fervor, they’re running for small boards and destroying beloved public institutions from the inside in the name of white supremacy.” – Kelly Jensen, Book Riot
“Even when conservatives take control of library boards, communities aren’t left powerless. While it may not be possible to undo every policy enacted by conservatives that can curtail library services and materials, they can still be mitigated. Advocates and supporters shouldn’t underestimate how much of a difference intense community pressure and concentrated mobilization plans can make. In Niles, a coalition of activists and community members eventually pressed education leaders, religious groups, and elected officials to speak out against the cuts, held a Save Niles Library rally in the town, and lobbied the conservative board members to either side with the community or resign. The library staff even voted to unionize.” – Lakshmi Gandhi, Prism
“Adding diversity to the Niles-Maine District Library’s all-white elected board was sought by members of a community activist group as library trustees discussed a tentative timeline for advertising a vacancy on the board.” – Jennifer Johnson, Niles Herald-Spectator / Chicago Tribune
Applications Open Until Tuesday To Fill Niles-Maine Library Trustee Vacancy, Library Lists Required, Preferred Qualifications, As Does Niles Coalition Youth – Tom Robb, Journal & Topics
Thank you for reading, see you in the streets! 📢