Did you know that each year, the entire month of February is devoted to libraries and the people who love them? There is so much to adore when it comes libraries, especially within the Quaker community.
Libraries are a vital resource both in our meeting spaces and online, as they help new and existing Friends as well as spiritual seekers deepen their experiences of Quaker spirituality. If you're looking for ways to celebrate the library experience as a Quaker, here are some ideas!
Foster virtual community with FGC's Spiritual Deepening Library.
Our web-based Spiritual Deepening Library is available 24/7 and contains over 150 activities under six topic areas for you to choose from (including activities just kids). Host an extended hour of worship based on one of the group exercises, organize a youth program with several children's activities, or offer a multi-week discussion group around one of the topic areas. If you're looking for a starting point, we recommend the Silence and Expectant Waiting topic.
Read books that celebrate the beauty and life-changing potential of libraries.
Our Bookstore Manager Audrey Greenhall enthusiastically recommends these three titles:
- Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
- Syria's Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege by Mike Thomson
- Write to Me: Letters from Japanese-American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady, Illustrated by Amiko Hirao
Add books about Black history, spirituality, and activism to your meeting's library...
Though February is Black History Month, Black history is being made every day. Combine the best of both themes by adding books about Black history, Black Quakers, and books by Black authors. These book titles from QuakerBooks of FGC will nurture inspiration and Spirit-led action in readers of all ages and backgrounds. Explore the Black History Month 2021 collection.
...And consider additional practices to provide a more inclusive and equitable library experience.
The more perspectives you can offer through your meeting space's library collection, the better. Upgrading the meeting house library through an inclusive lens has become an increasingly important practice, especially when it comes to adding the experiences of LGBTQ+ people, Native people, people of color, people with disabilities, non-binary or gender non-conforming people and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. So much so that at the 2020 Virtual FGC Gathering, Committee for Nurturing Ministries Clerk (and celebrated librarian) Regina Renee Ward facilitated a discussion on the topic of creating inclusive libraries. If you're looking for a starting point, this article by Nicole A. Cooke of Publishers Weekly is worth reading.
This article originally appeared in the February 2021 issue of Vital Friends.