Libraries Are Still Necessary

But what about those who use libraries because they don’t have access to those technologies at home, or even in school? Children need access to books and information and not every school is going to hand out tablets to their students. Children need to understand the value books hold. They need a place to find information and where they can learn how to find information.

-Harry Marks, Neil Gaiman on Reading and Libraries”

I love libraries and I am sad that fewer and fewer people use—or even know how to use—them. I put a question out there a about a week ago regarding the TechCrunch article that declared the end of the library:

RE: The Future of Libraries, when do we acknowledge that looking up trivial facts on the Internet is not the same as the learning” we once did in library settings?

I asked this because I still love going to the library to read, to enjoy a cup of coffee, to learn something new. The fact is that being able to look up trivia is not the same thing as learning something new.

Recently, Google Glass was at the heart of my confusion in this regard due to the notion circulating around the Internet that, with Google Glass, long-term memory was becoming unnecessary. In other words, why remember something when you constantly have a digital assistant who can look up anything for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that if I need to look something up, I can pull out my phone and read a million different resources on a single subject, but I will never be so audacious as to associate my five minute foray into the world of IMDB as true long-term mental recognition, the likes of my college career.

I have posted a lot about books recently because as I approach fatherhood, I know that books will be important to my child’s development. Thank God there are a lot of other smart people that just keep backing me up. Harry Marks shares some prescient ideas here, so go read his thoughts.

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.