Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dual Roles

Over the summer I finally decided to do something useful with my off time and joined the brand new local chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.) The chapter was so new, I ended up being treasurer at the first meeting I attended! I'm proud to say our little chapter is growing by leaps and bounds. We started with six regular attendees gathering each month in the basement of a local church. Now we average thirty or more. My problem is balancing my role as an officer of PFLAG with that of Director of the Library. The first issue came up with the local Labor Day Parade. I wondered if I was overstepping an invisible line by appearing in the parade representing an organization considered controversial by some. I recall in college an education professor telling us that teachers can not be seen coming out of bars. He said they have an image to uphold in the community. At the time, I thought he was terribly old fashioned. Then, as I drove in the parade, I suddenly realized what it was actually like to be a "public figure", to represent more than just oneself. I didn't imagine spectators thinking, "Hey there is Steve with the PFLAG folks." I imagined them thinking, "There is the Library Director with the PFLAG folks." Now this enters my mind when PFLAG asks me if they can use our meeting room to host a speaker on gay issues, or if they can put up an informational display. What responsibility does a director have to his/her Library's neutrality when off the job?


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January 20, 2010 6:22 AM  

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