Nevada County Community Library leading the way | TheUnion.com

Nevada County Community Library leading the way

Yolande Wilburn
Special to The Union

We are excited to celebrate National Library Week with the theme "Libraries Lead." The American Library Association selected Misty Copeland as the honorary chairperson.

In 2015, Copeland became the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre in its 75-year history. Misty is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Life in Motion.

The book is available for checkout from our library. Misty's passion is giving back and with the help and support of the Nevada County community, that is what we do every day at Nevada County Community Library.

I am honored to be writing this first installment of articles for this special week, as I am the first African American woman to be promoted to County Librarian in Nevada County.

This speaks to the leadership of Nevada County and is incredibly important in light of local events in Sacramento and around the globe regarding diversity and inclusion. When I first came to Nevada County in September 2015, to begin my work as branch manager at the Madelyn Helling Library, I was welcomed. The incredible staff at Helling and indeed all of our branches were open, inclusive and showed themselves to be leaders among men.

As my career here has progressed, I have found that the incredibly supportive volunteers and Friends of the Nevada County, and Truckee libraries, help us in every way without regard for anyone's race, creed or political belief to ensure the library is welcoming to all.

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Every challenge we face with regard to funding and operations is a problem to be solved together.

With the passage of Measure A, and the continued support of our Friends, we have been able to work together to improve operations, service, and programming and to preserve the history and culture of the community.

Over the next four days you will hear from Sachi Neumann, Lisa Nowlain, Rachel Schneider, Tiffany Roberts and Crystal Miles about the things they are doing as library leaders to ensure Nevada County is a leader among libraries and in the community.

We are not leaders alone in a silo. We are leaders because of the connections we share with the community, the support of the Friends of Nevada County Libraries, The Friends of the Truckee Libraries, The Library Foundation and all of the other organizations that work with us to provide leadership and direction.

We are proud to serve such an open and inclusive community and are even more thrilled in the positive responses that we get back.

New library card design

In honor of this being National Poetry Month, we held a Library Card Design contest from Feb. 12 to March 5. We had an incredible response from community members who wanted to share their poetic inspirations with the community. The winners will be announced at 9 a.m. today in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 950 Maidu Ave, along with the unveiling of the newest library card designs.

Three winners were selected by a panel of judges from across the county and one winner was selected by Nevada County Poet Laureate Molly Fisk, as the "Poet Laureate's Choice" winner. The new cards will be available immediately following the unveiling at all Nevada County Community Library locations.

After you have updated your library card, stop in and attend some of our exciting programs. Today, the Grass Valley Library will be hosting the Exquisite Corpse Poetry Game at 5 p.m. This collaborative poetry game for adults traces its roots to the Parisian Surrealist Movement.

Poetry for All! A Pop-up Poetry Event takes place at Madelyn Helling Library at 5 p.m. Friday. The event features local poets, including Fisk, interactive poetry and refreshments. Check out the library event calendar for even more offerings.

As we lead the way in helping to provide fun and informal learning opportunities in the community we also recognize our commitment to serve as catalyst for some of the more uncomfortable conversations which may lead to lasting change and improved quality of life for us all.

The 2018 Nevada County Reads and Writes selection of "Everything I Never Told You" by Celeste Ng, sparks such conversations. The book deals with issues of suicide, mental illness, cultural bias, gender inequality, and family relationships.

In conjunction with Nevada County Reads and Writes and thanks to a grant from the California State Library, we will be hosting, Mind Your Mental Health: A Nevada County Community Library Mental Wellness event 3-7 p.m. May 30 at the Madelyn Helling Library.

We hope that the community will attend and learn more about mental wellness while expanding how we see those who are different from ourselves so that we truly are all leaders, not just at the library but also in giving back and inspiring others.

Yolande Wilburn is the interim Nevada County Librarian.