The Pandemic Proved That the Library Is Essential

March 11, 2022

Two years after the COVID-19 shutdown, Interim Chief Librarian Emily Drabinski shares what she learned and why she cherishes being back in the library.

Last June, after more than a year of COVID-induced remote work, Emily Drabinski, interim chief librarian and critical pedagogy librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center, and her staff reopened the Graduate Center library to students and scholars on a limited basis.  

“Every student we saw, made my heart swell 18 sizes,” she says.  

The pandemic proved to her and others that the library is more than a portal to information. “The library is a space where you can go that is non-commercial and that is freely available to you,” she says.   

Drabinski is currently a candidate for president of the American Library Association, running on a platform of “collective power, public good.”  

She joins The Thought Project podcast to talk about why we need libraries and her priorities of openness and access for the Graduate Center library and for all libraries.

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