The last question Lankes makes in the 5th Thread of the Atlas of New Librarianship is “What inspires you?” The thread is about the importance of leaders from the library community to step up and be an example, motivate the members of the community, and work toward improving society as a whole. He refers to Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech from the Shakespeare play titled (not a shocker) Henry V. In his concluding remarks, he rewrites the speech with a library audience in mind and provides us with a call to arms.
Here is what inspires me:
The Declaration of Independence (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html) which was drafted by Thomas Jefferson. A group of individuals joined together to right a perceived wrongs by the government (Great Britain) without providing representation to grieve them or a willingness to correct them. After exhausting their options for redress they announced to the people their intention to separate from their rulers and create their own government to establish and safeguard the people.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness… The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.“
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) (http://www.biography.com/people/mahatma-gandhi-9305898 ) who fought for the rights of his people and worked to educate the public and open the eyes of society to the wrongs that they faced and help them to overcome and change the way things were to make them better. He advocated the truth and non-violence in this methods for creating social change.
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”
“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
Rosa Parks (http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715?page=1 ) who refused to give in and give up her bus seat to a white passenger and spurred the Montgomery Bus Boycott in protest of the “separate but equal” laws that dictated life at that time.
“I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.”