Friday, April 10, 2015

Case Study No. 1885: Kyle Lukoff and Talya Sokoll

Librarians Volunteer In Ferguson | msnbc
Rachel Maddow reports on volunteer librarians who are using their holiday time off to travel to Ferguson, Missouri to help the local library there sort through the abundance of books donated in the wake of protests over the Michael Brown grand jury ruling.
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Librarians Volunteer In Ferguson | msnbc
Tags: MSNBC news channel news station newspaper breaking news us news world news politics current events top stories pop culture business health liberal progressive cable cable news Volunteering (Job Title) Librarian (Profession) Ferguson (City/Town/Village) michael brown ferguson protest michael brown protest michael brown shooting Rachel Maddow (Author) library michael brown grand jury
Added: 3 months ago
From: msnbcleanforward
Views: 326

[scene opens with Rachel Maddow speaking directly to the camera]
RACHEL MADDOW: Best new thing in the world today! This is really good!
[she claps her hands together]
RACHEL MADDOW: Um, but it starts in difficult circumstances. The library in Ferguson, Missouri is just down the road from the Ferguson, Missouri police station.
[cut to an exterior shot of the Ferguson Public Library]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] The scene of those tense and sustained standoffs between the police and people protesting the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
[cut to several shots of protestors in Ferguson]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] People in Ferguson, Missouri have not been living life as usual this year. Sometimes businesses have been closed, damaged and looted because of protests. Schools have been closed for days at a time.
[cut to a still image of someone standing outside the library with a sign reading "School closed? Bring your students here"]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] But the Ferguson Library has stayed open. They gave teachers a place to hold ad hoc school days, with free lunch and story time for the younger kids when the schools closed in August.
[cut to a still image of the library filled with children]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] They did it again in November, when the grand jury announced there'd be no charges in the killing of Michael Brown, and the schools closed down again. Just like they did after the protests when he was first killed.
[cut to several screenshots from the library's Twitter feed]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] The following morning, after the grand jury announcement, the Ferguson Library tweeted that they would be open all day with "wifi, water, rest, and knowledge."
[cut to a still image of a flyer advertising "Ferguson Library Healing Kits"]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] Couple of weeks ago, Ferguson Library put together what they called "library healing kits" for local kids. The kits come with books designed to help kids dealing with tough situations, and information about local mental health services. They also came with a stuffed animal, which you can keep.
[cut to more shots from the library]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] In the middle of this hard time for Ferguson ... and for kids in Ferguson, right? For families in Ferguson, Ferguson Library has become its own story. Not just in Ferguson, but actually around the country. It's become sort of a point of focus, particularly for people looking for some concrete way to try to help that community, right? Some way to help a situation that they otherwise don't know what to do with. At least, not how to help constructively.
[cut to a screenshot of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library website (with a red arrow pointing to the Paypal Donate button in the upper right-hand corner]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] This summer, so many people started calling the Ferguson Library to ask how they could help, that the library reconfigured its website to add a donation button. And through that button, they raised ... four hundred thousand dollars, almost its entire yearly budget!
[cut to a screenshot of the library's wish list from the Powell's web site]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] People also sent the library books by the thousands. The library has ended up with hundreds of boxes of books that have been donated to them.
[cut to more shots from the library]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] And while libraries do love books, and need books, they also need order, right? They need those books to be catalogued and shelved so readers can check them out. So they can do quality control, they make sure they know what they've got. The Ferguson Library has gotten more new books than it can catalog with its one full-time librarian.
[cut to a still image of piles of new books in the library]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] Well, last Saturday, volunteers started that process of the unpacking and sorting the books, and writing thank-you notes to the senders. But now, what the library really needed was librarians.
[cut back to Rachel speaking directly to the camera]
RACHEL MADDOW: Who could do the trained librarian technical work of assigning each book its own unique spot in the vast universe of the modern library system. This is not something that you or I could just do, unless you've been lucky enough to study library science, right? This is something for which you need a pro! But that job needs doing in Ferguson right now, for these piles of new books that have come in for these very emotional reasons ... Check this out.
[cut to a still image of a young female librarian (brown hair, glasses, yellow headband, black shirt, grey skirt) cataloging books]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] The proud father of a public school librarian got in touch with us the other day and told us about his son's plan to volunteer at the Ferguson Library over the holiday break.
[cut to a still image of a young male librarian (balding, goatee, blue polo shirt) cataloging books]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] Kyle Lukoff and Talya Sokoll are both librarians back on the East Coast, but this week they are volunteers in the library at Ferguson.
[cut to more shots from the library]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] Cataloging books for the special "Unity" collection. Talya and Kyle are not big on bragging about their work, they're just doing what they can, book after book. Since, as they told us today, they have the time and the ability to do this job.
[cut back to the images of the two librarians]
RACHEL MADDOW: [in voice over] Librarians are kind of amazing when they go to work ... this is what librarians do on their day off.
[cut back to Rachel speaking directly to the camera, as she laughs and claps her hands]
RACHEL MADDOW: Best new thing in the world today, and thanks for being with us tonight. "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell starts right now.
[cut to a split-screen of Rachel and Lawrence talking to each other]
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Wow Rachel, talk about unsung heroes ...
RACHEL MADDOW: I know! I love 'em, I love 'em all! Thanks, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Beautiful. Thank you very much, Rachel.



The Rachel Maddow Show 12/23/14
Librarians volunteer to help out in Ferguson

It was a pleasure to work with you Talya Sokoll of Boston and Kyle Lukoff of Manhattan (New York). Thank you for your energy and much needed enthusiasm from this local. The kids, teens and adults of #Ferguson will soon be able to enjoy nearly 2,000 donated updated books on subjects including social justice and equality. In addition, our kiddos thank you for making it possible to see positive reflections of themselves within the characters of the new books they now have access to read.



This week, the story of the Ferguson Library was featured as part of The Rachel Maddow Show's "Best New Thing in the World" segment, and it included GLBTRT members Kyle Lukoff and Talya Sokoll who have volunteered their time to help with the cataloging needs from the massive influx of donations.



Many other orgs closing. But we will stay open to serve people of #Ferguson as long as safe for patrons & staff, up to 8p. Love each other.
- Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 24, 2014

No matter what emotions you are feeling today, no matter what your political leanings, there is no denying the fact that the Ferguson Library has been doing amazing work in the past few months in response to the turmoil that is happening in the town because of the shooting of Michael Brown and the lack of indictment for the officer who shot him.

Normal hours tomorrow. We will have teachers and volunteers here to help kids from 9-3 since FFSD is closed! #Ferguson
- Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 25, 2014

There is a lot to process about this situation, and a lot of voices that need to be heard, so this is just a quick note to put the Ferguson Library on your radar if it's not already there, and provide you with ways to show support for the library if you are able to. The library is staying open for the community when other organizations (including schools) are closing, and that is no small thing for the children, teens, and adults of Ferguson.

* You can donate directly to the library by clicking on the "Donate" button on the upper right hand corner of their website.
* You can follow them on Twitter for real-time information about their services and how to support them.
* You can donate directly to Ferguson, MO classrooms through Donors Choose.

How to support us: 1. Donate 2. Volunteer 3. Attend book swap at 6 pm on 11/25
- Ferguson Library (@fergusonlibrary) November 25, 2014

Thank you to the staff of Ferguson Library for maintaining the mission of public libraries and being there as a space and open space for people and communities during times of strife.

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