TACOMA – Join neighbors in a series of new events called Pierce County Conversations and be a part of empowering conversations about current topics including immigration status, student rights, free speech and identifying fake news. Pierce County Library System along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington, the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County and others is hosting informative discussions to provide people with the knowledge they need to communicate their ideas effectively and participate actively in democracy.
“Libraries have always been a convener for ideas,” said Pierce County Library Executive Director Georgia Lomax. “Pierce County Library serves as an impartial facilitator in a neutral location, and we encourage and welcome all people to share and explore diverse opinions and ideas. We believe that when people have accurate information, individuals will form conclusions that benefit our communities and society.”
As part of the Library System’s Strategic Plan to support programs and resources for communities it is launching Pierce County Conversations starting this fall. The Library System plans to offer a fall and winter series. The Library is committed to helping people be better informed and better equipped to advocate and activate in their community. Pierce County Conversations is a free program, open to all people. No registration is required and people may attend one or all of the events.
The fall Pierce County Conversations series kicks off with several events to recognize National Voter Registration Day Sept. 26 and 27. Volunteers from the League of Women’s Voters will be in Pierce County Libraries to provide in-person assistance with registration. The League of Women Voters will also provide voter information and civic engagement resources.
Sessions on free speech, student rights and rights about immigration status will be held in October. In October and November, two workshops will help people identify and evaluate news and discern real news from fake news.
“Pierce County Library has an important role and responsibility in democracy,” said Lomax. “Providing access to accurate information is at the core of public libraries. These workshops will allow people to develop their own views, counter misinformation, and hear a variety of viewpoints.”
The full schedule of Pierce County Conversations activities is below.
National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 26, 27
Visit www.piercecountylibrary.org/calendar for the specific times for each library.
Lakewood Pierce County Library, 6300 Wildaire Rd. S.W., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 6-7:30 p.m.
Know Your Rights
Key Center Pierce County Library, 8905 KPN Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Know Your Rights: Immigration Status
Fife Pierce County Library, 6622 20th St. E., Tuesday, Oct. 24 6 to 8 p.m.
Sumner Pierce County Library, 1116 Fryar Ave., Thursday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to noon
What is Fake News?
Steilacoom Pierce County Library, 2950 Steilacoom Blvd., Thursday, Oct. 19, 2 to 4 p.m.
South Hill Pierce County Library, 15420 Meridian E., Monday, Nov. 6, 7 to 9 p.m.
Additional library events focused on rights and democracy include Citizenship Classes hosted at Fife and Lakewood Pierce County Libraries, offered in partnership with Tacoma Community House. Individuals who would like to enroll in a Citizenship Class should attend one of several information sessions, beginning Monday, Sept. 11, at Tacoma Community House. Banned Books Week, an annual event focused on first amendment rights, the value of open access to information and the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those that may be deemed unorthodox or unpopular, follows Sept. 24-30.
Citizenship Class Information Sessions
Tacoma Community House, 1314 S. L St., Tacoma,
Monday, Sept. 11, 4 p.m.;
Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.;
Thursday, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 12, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 4 p.m.
Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-30