Oxford Public Library Spring 2021 NL
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 Oxford Public Library News Spring 2021
Vol. 24, No. 1
Management Team & Board of Directors
Library Director & CEO Bryan J. Cloutier Administrative Assistant Mary Ann Dorda
Head of Adult Services Laura Fromwiller Head of Teen Services Rachael Quinn
Head of Youth Services Kim Burean
Head of Support Services Jackie Seimer
Building Superintendent Terry Brewer
President & Board Chair Kathy Hoeflein
Vice President
Tony Rizzo
Treasurer Lynn Royster Secretary
Julie Fracker Trustee DuAnne Cook Trustee Barbara Kriigel
Mission Statement
The Oxford Public Library provides access to the world, enriches the community, and promotes lifelong learning and enjoyment.
Transforming Tomorrow, Preserving our Past, & Enriching Lives Today
   Beneath the Divide
— There Is Hope.
Our Country is seriously divided, battered and fragile. Many people are wondering when, and even
if, we will ever fully recover from the vicious and relentless political
storm that is equally coupled with the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. As the director of the library, I am hopeful that we are certainly capable
of eventually bringing some form of normalcy back to our lives that is reminiscent of how we used to function and live as Americans. The political divide, the influx of fake news, and the cancel culture and censorship that is brewing among us—whether good intentioned or not, is destroying our democracy and dividing us even more. The broad-scale censorship and challenge to our freedom of speech is alarming. It must stop; cooler heads must prevail and we must unify behind our freedoms and our passions that makes us Americans. This is what makes us unique, and often times can even make us misunderstood
by the rest of the modern world. We have managed to foster the longest and continuous single form
of government of any other country anywhere in
the world. Yet the constitutional federal republic is among the youngest at nearly 245 years old. There is a lot to unpack in that statement, yet it stands on its own merit.
Nothing is insurmountable if we find common
good. Media outlets, big tech giants and even
our politicians are playing ‘librarian’ by vetting information and written communication, while they themselves are incapable of being unbiased. Want my advice?—trust a librarian, not a politician or a media commentator to gain access to reliable, well vetted sources of information. We would all be better off because of it.
Outside of my work in libraries, I am a historian. My undergraduate degree is in History with an emphasis in secondary education. To our teachers—I applaud you. The work you do is very complicated today,
yet significantly meaningful and important to the development of our youth in becoming productive members of society. I have studied Early American History, the American Civil War, and American Indian Anthropology and Archeology quite extensively over the years. History tells us a great deal about who we are, the differences among us, and the challenges we don’t even know we will face yet. Albeit not a perfect story, it is our story nonetheless. Many historians have already warned us of this, yet it continues to remain the fuel of our demise. Rather than another attempt at cancelling each other’s beliefs and censoring each other’s speech—hopefully we can search for higher ground. However difficult and painful it may be, I challenge all of us to learn from our history, understand it, own it, and make sure that we don’t repeat the things that bring us turmoil, divide us and foster inequality.
I am also a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow. In my volunteer work with Rotary International I have come to understand the importance of bridge building, garnering trust and respect, and in finding the
truth among us. This is what makes us successful humanitarians. I believe we can find unity if we strive for it for the right reasons. In all the chaos one thing has always been constant. When your journey takes you to the Oxford Public Library—regardless of
your political beliefs, your socio-economic status, your ethnic heritage, religion, or sexual identity, the library remains a neutral and non-judgmental place for intellectual freedoms and expression. We are a unified community—let’s keep it that way my friends.
Bryan J. Cloutier Director & CEO

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