Reflecting on the 2016 Election

“I attend library school in Berlin, Germany. Our director is American and after the election, he arrived to teach clothed in black and somber faced, explained that he was in mourning, and began his lecture by addressing how the election will compromise libraries — a much needed response. Library schools tend to focus on just the country where they are located, but I think it’s crucial to take an international view, now more than ever.

-Humboldt University of Berlin, 11/23/2016

“Since November 8, 2016, I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful to the individuals (librarians, information professional, or otherwise) who have been aggregating news reports on the incoming administration, providing resources for raising our collective voice to decry the horrifying elements of this administration, and training those of us who are new to civic activism in the mechanisms of protest by refusing to be silent on social media or in the free press.”

-11/21/2016

“I never honestly thought there was a serious possibility of [Trump] winning (after all, I live in a state so blue that AP called us for Clinton BEFORE any election returns came in). That might be how I managed to promise myself not to spend the entire day glued to election returns. Around 5 pm, I couldn’t wait anymore, looked it up on my phone, and became very alarmed! No way was this happening! Through the rest of that afternoon, and while I was making dinner, I kept checking it every few minutes, hoping things would turn around. As my husband, son, and I were going around panicking, our two young daughters clued in to the fact that something was very wrong. They’re subjected to NPR every morning on the way to school, so they have already heard many times our opinions on “the clown,” as we call him. In the middle of dinner, I started to cry, and wondered out loud how on earth we were going to raise healthy, strong girls in a world where a known sexual predator can actually be elected president. I told my girls right then that if any man ever thinks he can push them around and touch them just because he’s rich and powerful, they should kick him in the balls..”

-University of Hawai’i, 11/18/2016

“The (Hawai’i Library Association) conference was a perfect venue at the perfect time to take my mind off of the horror that awaits us. I suggest we have the conference every day for the short term. I don’t see Lord Voldemort sticking around a full four years. He will be overwhelmed, bored and fraught with legal/ethical conflict of interest laws. Dems had better press with subpoenas, depositions and lawsuits everyday of his presidency. Tie up every appointment and filibuster every act of legislation.
That’s what I want for Xmas.”

-University of Hawai’i, 11/18/2016

“For the next four years, when I look at Donald J. Trump, I’m going to have to confront all the times in my life that I’ve encountered sexism. I’ve encountered it all my life. I encountered it today in the library that I work in. The experience is always different, and yet the same. It’s always normalized. It’s always embarrassing. And I’m always mad at myself for not calling it what it is when I see it – sexism. Why can’t we say it out loud when we see it? I think because we know it won’t be taken seriously. And because it’s not safe to say it. This hurts like hell.”

-11/17/2016

“The day after the election, patron after patron requested resources for supporting themselves and their community. It was jarring–it forced me out of myself and my own grief. It also reinforced that librarians ultimately serve the public and the public good. If perfect strangers can ask their librarian how to empower themselves and their communities, the least I can do is educate myself as to what is out there, and how I can connect those resources to the people that need them the most.”

-11/17/2016

“My workplace (academic library in liberal Midwestern city) is only now just getting over the shock of the election.  The day after was awful – lots of staffers wore black, including myself.  I had small ranting sessions with some of my coworkers as a coping mechanism, which helped, but pretty much everyone was in a funk for the rest of the week.  A lot of our staff and the students we serve are in groups that have been singled out for discrimination; you could feel the anxiety and fear in the air.  Now everyone’s shifted into wondering how Thanksgiving and the holidays will go – no one’s looking forward to talking with their relatives.”

-Kent State University, 11/17/2016