Resilience. By Rebekkah Smith Aldrich. Chicago: ALA, 2018. 87 p. Paper (ISBN 978-0-8389-1634-6).

We are living in increasingly unpredictable, uncertain times. Continued disruptions in our world cause us to have to react and plan for unseen circumstances. This has always been true when you consider political, economic, technological, environmental, and social disruptions. However, as these disruptions become amplified, they have a greater effect on our communities and require greater efforts from all walks of society to brace for and recover from the damage they inflict.

Resilience by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, which is part of the Library Futures series published by ALA Neal-Schuman, talks about the different types of disruptions we encounter in our world and how libraries are perfectly positioned to take a leading role in bringing communities together and strengthening our ability to not only adapt but also thrive in threatening situations.

The book asks the reader to consider libraries’ role in the community by examining the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, the “Core Values of Librarianship,” and ALA’s “Code of Professional Ethics”—all documents that lead the reader to the conclusion that libraries are established as centers of “equity and access.”

Resilience then becomes a guide for libraries to use these core values to become essential partners in the communities they serve by highlighting multiple examples of libraries during times of both natural disasters and civil unrest. The book concludes with a chapter on the urgency for librarians to take an active role in developing innovative facilities and policies that allow us to be societal leaders if we are to make our future a more resilient one.

Resilience is a timely and insightful examination of our society and the responsibilities of libraries as facilities and organizations. It provides many recent, highly relevant examples as well as links and references to many useful resources to be considered by librarians and library administrators alike.—Patrick Baumann, Media Services Librarian, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma


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