We see a lot on the Libraries’ Twitter account. You tell us when you’re tired, when your study group is amazing, when you wish it was quieter or louder or warmer or colder. And you tell us what your fellow students leave behind. Earlier this week, @graciediane posted the following photo with the caption “Found this gem in the library. #encouragement”
If you can’t quite make out the writing, the note says “You are worth so much more than you can ever imagine.” Seeing it made @graciediane’s, and likely other people’s, day much better.
Contrast that experience with that of another K-State student, who found not words of encouragement, but hateful racism that we won’t repeat here. He felt unwelcome, unsafe, unsure if he should be here at all. That’s not the K-State way. It doesn’t make us feel K-State proud to have to assure his parents that we’ll take care of it right away. It makes us, and everyone who encounters it, a little smaller, a little less part of a community.
The library space is yours. In many meaningful ways, some large, some small, it was bought and paid for by K-State students who came before you, so that it would be here for you to have. They did that because they believed in the future of the K-State family, and valued your educational experiences even though they will never know you. They left behind this library. Someone else left behind encouragement. Sadly, one person chose to leave behind their ignorance. We won’t stand for that, as a library, or as part of the K-State family.
We’re grateful to the students who let us know what they find in the library, and hope always for more experiences like @graciediane’s.
You *are* worth so much more than you can ever imagine. And it matters what you leave behind.