Engaged Libraries and Neutral Public Space: Seeking Balance in an Age of Unrest. The Sitting Bull College Experience
with Mark Holman
Thursday, June 7th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Kathryn A. Martin Library, 4th Floor Rotunda
Mark Holman has been Library Director of Sitting Bull College Library on the Standing Rock Reservation for 17 years. Standing Rock was the site of the recent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, an event that posed new questions and challenges to the role of a library in a time of unrest. Sitting Bull College Library, as the closest public library, found itself serving a new and diverse set of patrons while also trying to engage and capture that important moment in history that overshadowed everything locally for much of 2016 and 2017. The experience raised important questions about the opportunities and perils of being a library on the periphery of divisive conflict since it is one of the few places open to virtually anyone. Mark will discuss the experience of the library, encourage others to share their stories and foster a discussion about the best course for libraries to navigate as they become both willing and unwilling participants in the fractious events of our present age.
Join Mark Holman for an informational workshop about active library community engagement in a time of conflict and division. Attendees will brainstorm on their own potential approaches to accommodating and providing services to the impromptu communities that arise during periods of social unrest.