So, the assignment was another Rapid Response- each group had the choice to either find articles about how libraries were getting involved with helping victims of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy or to find articles about how libraries had gotten involved with the election.
I found it interesting because earlier that day, November 6, I had been at the Fayetteville Free Library, doing an observation at the reference desk (for another class). I had arrived at the library at 9 a.m., as was usual for me (I come at the same time to do these observations). What was unusual was that the parking lot was mostly full. I wondered why. It became obvious when I walked in the doors.
Election day. Duh. It had almost escaped my notice because I had failed in my civic duty- I had failed to change my voting registration to New York in time, and I had failed to apply for an absentee ballot for Indiana in time. Thus, I was unable to vote. But thanks to the Fayetteville Free Library, I got to participate at least a little in the voting experience.
Granted, it wasn't much- mostly, I helped Monica direct people to the polling place in a different part of the library. But it was neat to see people coming in to make their voice heard. I even got to see Dr. Ken Lavender, a professor for another class I'm taking. I chatted with him for a little while. It was nice to get to see one of my professors getting involved in the community, both local, state, and national.
And what I liked even more was that it helped the library get involved in the community. I don't know how common it is for libraries to be polling places, and I don't know what guidelines there may or may not be in determining polling places, but I feel like every library ought to jump at the chance to be one- should even offer to be one, if they are not one already- because it is a great way to reach out to the community- not just in terms of the election, but it is a great chance for the library to try to draw people in so that as they come to vote, they may hopefully linger on the way in or out to see what else the library has to offer.
What a great