By Kate Adler, Director of Library Services

The Plan

A library is built on the “radical” belief that access to ideas and information is a human right.  Libraries serve the unique needs and the specific textures of their community.

We aim, for example, to be a space for intellectual exploration–formal and informal, individual and communal. The “Pizza & Conversation” series has been a wonderful example of the kind of informal, messy, rigorous, intellectual exploration we hope to do together in our space. Each month (more or less) we choose a topic and a member of the MCNY community to help facilitate a conversation around it. We also suggest an optional reading to ground the conversation. We order some pizza* and invite folks into the group study room to have a roundtable discussion.

Library conversation on reparations with Dean Crookendale

The Series in Action

In our first conversation last February Dr. Charles Gray facilitated our discussion on the history of voting rights in this country. Later that spring, Rae Mack, of the Welfare to Career’s program led a fantastic conversation about Women of Color and Higher Education, drawing on her own experience attending an HBCU to frame the conversation.  Another conversation pivoted around Juneteenth and another–facilitated by the remarkable Interim Chief Academic Officer Humphrey Crookendale—focused on the idea of Reparations. We read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ groundbreaking article on the subject.

There are more to come and we will use this space to collect resources and share our experiences! And if you have ideas or would like to facilitate a conversation let us know!

*We don’t only and always order pizza. In fact, as Natalia will tell you, sometimes, like when we are talking about Food Justice? Pizza really isn’t the right fit at all!