My speech was much shortened this morning. This is what it was supposed to be:
"As public librarians, we don't take any oaths, like doctors do, but we share a dedication to preserve our patrons' privacy and dignity. We often have to be careful and sensitive when answering patrons' questions.
When a woman comes in asking for information about domestic violence, we cannot automatically assume that she is asking because she is in a bad situation, but we cannot assume that she is not either. So we show her the various materials that we have and ALSO give her hotline numbers to call.
When a distraught couple tells us that their child has just been diagnosed with autism, we listen sympathetically and help them find the latest information.
When an upset patron comes in telling us that they've just been diagnosed with cancer we listen and find them information they need.
Many times, people come to the library before they go to the doctor. Sometimes they need information, but sometimes they just need to be told to go to a doctor. If they don't have a doctor or insurance, we give them information about the free clinics in the area.
As a teen librarian, I often get nervous and embarrassed parents coming to me when it is time to tell their kids about the facts of life. I get to watch them calm down before my eyes when I show them all of our resources on the subject to choose from.
Public librarians wear many hats and do many things, but one of the things that I respect the most about our specialty is that we offer a safe place for the people of Los Angeles to come to find information concerning sensitive topics without judgement.
Please do not dismantle the Libraries."
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