Portsmouth Public Library has created a variety of publications in recent years. Read on for all past issues of our zines, and The Parrott Magazine!
In 2021 we created a zine to highlight Anti-Racism resources to provide insight into a movement that is affecting our nation in a major way. We also began thinking about the library's responsibility as a community hub and we asked ourselves: how can we be more welcoming, more accessible, and more equitable to all who visit our space? In our discussions, we came to realize there is one issue that affects every single one of our patrons and staff: AGEISM.
The truth is we all experience judgment or even discrimination based on our age, regardless of our age! At different points in our lives, we might be dismissed as "just kids" or "over the hill;" our questions belittled by phrases like "you'll understand when you're older" or "you're out of touch;" our ideas disregarded because "this is the way things have always been done" or "you have to keep up with the times."
Sometimes it's just annoying or humbling to be put into a box based on age, but these judgments can also have real world consequences like deteriorating mental health. In fact, depression is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults, and those living with depression tend to visit the doctor more often, use more medication, incur higher outpatient charges, and stay longer in the hospital (CDC, 2008).
So what can we do to change the stigma associated with age? You've made a great first step by picking up this zine! We don't have all the answers, but we've come up with some truly wonderful books, films, and podcasts that will help you understand ageism and all the ways it sneaks into our lives. We hope this encourages you to keep learning, keep reflecting, and keep reading!
Libraries, like all public institutions, have a history of exclusion, segregation, and discrimination. This includes our own beloved PPL. As the staff of the library, we are raising our voices and saying it is time to change.
In June, we launched a staff working group that we’re calling TIDE: The Taskforce for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. Our weekly meetings have encouraged us to speak candidly about our own experiences, to educate ourselves about the experiences of others, and to look critically at our library. What can we do to better serve the human beings in our community? How can we uncover and combat racism in our collections, our building, and our profession?
Zines have long been used to easily share information, encourage personal expression, and promote community. In this tradition, we created a zine that serves as both an invitation and a challenge to ourselves and our patrons - a starting point for critical reflection that will hopefully inspire conversation, education, and action. Our zine includes reflective prompts as well as resource lists to help us integrate anti-racist work into our daily lives. We have personally engaged with many of the resources we list. These are the books, films, and podcasts that have inspired us to examine our preconceived notions of race and racism. We acknowledge that this zine is curated by a predominantly white staff and encourage you to check out additional resources created by BIPOC folks (such as those listed in this zine and our #ReadWoke lists which are findable on our website).
It’s taken a long time for us to get here and we know we’ve only just begun. If you want to come along with us on this journey, you’re in the right place! Spend some time with the prompts, sign up for our Standing Up To Racism course, and, as always, keep reading!
The PRRTT April 2020
The PRRTT (short for Parrott Avenue, where the library is located) is a small zine with book lists, book reviews, and more - written, designed and illustrated by library staff!
What you'll find inside this issue:
- How to get a beach brain
- YA books adults will love
- Playlists with music available on Hoopla
- Strange things we've found in the library
- Book/music pairings
- and more...
Click here to get the printable file (8.5 x 11, double sided, black and white), or read online below!
The Parrott Magazine
The Parrott was a quarterly magazine from the library. Written, edited and designed by library staff, The Parrott featured book reviews, interviews, and more. Readers could get an inside look at their library and their community.
The library no longer publishes The Parrott, but you can read all the archived issues below!