It seems like everything is politically polarized lately. Everything is us versus them. Frequently, language is used to portray the other side of an issue as an enemy or less than human. This cannot possibly lead to constructive debates on issues and has probably resulted in several uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinners over the last few years.
Could libraries provide a safe, civilized, and calm way to meet and greet people from both sides of the political aisles to have a conversation? We could provide a space and opportunity to let people get to know each other as real people and not the “radical right” or “liberal extremists.” We might be surprised to know that our neighbors do not hold the same beliefs that we do but are still good people with families, hopes, and dreams. We could provide coffee, snacks, and a chance for the community to find common ground.