Library to present series that discusses post-pandemic world

September 6, 2023

Library to present series that discusses post-pandemic world

LUDINGTON — Mason County District Library, together with Abondia Center, start a new series for adults September 14, 2023 at 7 p.m., Cairns & Beacons: Finding Our Way in a Post-Pandemic World, at the Ludington branch library, 217 E. Ludington Ave. The series is free and available in-person at the library and from anywhere by Zoom.

“We, like so many in our community and all over the nation, emerged from COVID-19,” said Thomas Trahey, the library’s head of circulation. “Apprehensive but hopeful. Many of us were stunned by what we had failed to notice before COVID. While we were still a strong and committed nation, we also saw we had not lived up to the nation’s promises. We wanted to develop a series that would help us make our nation a better place.

“We realized we could help by looking at a few complex issues. By doing that, we could each learn how to learn more about issues that mattered to us individually.”

“As we went about our research, we soon found we were overwhelmed,” said Brooke Portmann, director of Abondia Center. “How could we as individuals, with busy lives, make a difference? And then we realized, what we each do doesn’t need to be big. One step at a time is enough. We only need to be committed to being ‘pebbles in an avalanche of change.’ That has, and will, change the world.” 

Cairns & Beacons includes not only a lecture series but also, one week following each presentation, participants can engage with each other to share their thoughts, hear what others think, and consider what they might do in the future. At the discussions, participants will also engage with the topics through artworks to better understand the impact of past policies and future ideas on people’s lives. 

“This series is for all who want to continue to learn and grow while forging relationships and building stronger communities,” said Robin Seymour, the district library’s head of adult services. “We invite all to join us for lively conversations as we wrestle with powerful and sometimes curious ideas, connect with an invaluable community of others, and enjoy the journey together.” 

The first fall presentation, “Thinking our Way to a Post-Pandemic Democracy,” explores how we think, asks which thoughts build a sense of personal responsibility and creativity, and examines those who might lead us to irresponsibility, to not thinking for ourselves. Is there a connection between how we think and ‘good’ acts and how we think and ‘bad’ or even ‘evil’ acts?  Philosopher and author Elizabeth Minnich will open the series on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Other topics include what we can learn from efforts to address the needs of the global poor on Monday, Oct. 2, how our nation is testing new ways to assist America’s poor and working poor, including what is working and not working on Sunday, Nov. 5. The final fall presentation on Thursday, Dec. 14 will look at the strengths and limitations of the economic system that began under Republican President Ronald Reagan and came to be backed by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The series will continue in January 2024, and run through April.

All presentations and discussions begin at 7 p.m., and are free. Participants may join in-person at the Mason County District Library Ludington branch, 217 E. Ludington Ave, or online by Zoom, at bit.ly/CairnsAndBeacons (this is case sensitive). All presenters will join by Zoom. Further information and assistance is available online at bit.ly/cairnsandbeacons, via phone at 231.843.8465 and by email: cairnsandbeacons@mcdlibrary.org

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