FIVE STARS: CONSENSUS BUILDING, CONFLICTS RESOLVED

Editor’s note: Year after year, the Library Journal Index of Public Library Services, a public library rating system, has designated Telluride’s Library a five-star institution. And it just earned its fifth star in a row, which puts The Wilkinson Public Library into an elite club of 30 libraries that have seen stars five years in a row and third in the nation among public libraries with annual budgets of $1 – 5 million, hence the name of library director Barb Brattin’s semi-regular column, “Five Stars.” But the Wilkinson is not to content to rest on its laurels. The idea is to continue to improve for the greater good of the Telluride community. The upcoming workshop is an attempt to match words with action.

civilityDo you sometimes feel hopeless in a world full of war, personal mockery, and constant contention? Do you dream of a world in which people talk to each other with respect and good will?

You are not alone.

At last year’s Oscars, Asghar Farhadi, who directed won Best Foreign Language film for his “A Separation,” took out a piece of paper and read the following:

“At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or filmmaker, but because at the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country Iran is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

The more things change, the less things change. Farhadi could have made the same speech at this year’s Academy Awards.

And perhaps you and I cannot directly change hostility and resentment towards Iran, but we can do a great deal to foster civility within our own community.

I invite you to the Wilkinson Public Library on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 to immerse yourself in consensus building.The meeting will be facilitated by Jeff Goebel, a practiced teacher who has dedicated his life to negotiating peace around the world, including among Africa tribes with deep and abiding mutual hatred and in Palestine.

In the intensive, interactive two-day workshop, Jeff leads us through a collaborative process of visioning, trust building, and negotiation that empowers all parties to the conflict and ensures that all voices are heard and all interests are recognized and taken into account in the final decision. Friday is dedicated to the basic tools of conflict resolution. On Saturday, we practice through dialogue, focusing on this question: How can the Wilkinson Public Library best serve its community?

Please RSVP to Barb Brattin by calling 728-4519 x12 or through bbrattin@telluridelibrary.org

Hope to see you there!

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