Accomplishing Mission By Kari Albertson-Denison


“Hidden Figures” displayed the lives of three women striving for equality in work and life in the 1960’s during a time of civil unrest.  The scene described below is one of the many powerful scenes giving background to one of the main character’s struggle for equal access to information and civil rights in general.

It was horrible to see. Heartbreaking, actually.  As one woman leered through the bookshelf to another lady on the other side, a young child looked on, confused.  “You’re not allowed to be here,” she snarled to the other.  The woman went on to state to the mother that she needed to find books in ‘her’ section of the library (meaning the colored section).  Sadly, the book that the mother was searching wasn’t offered in the ‘colored’ section.  The mother’s determination to find the information she needed to succeed had led her to the other side (the white side) of the library, which offered more choices, and alas the book she was searching.  In the end, the mother was escorted out of the library for breaking the law.

This scene in “Hidden Figures” would not be seen at your public library, as it is our mission to provide “free and equal access to quality materials and services, which fulfill the education, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the entire community.” Proudly, the Lewistown Public Library is accomplishing our mission.  All patrons have equal access to all materials and services.

“Hidden Figures” is a powerful biographical movie written and directed by Theodore Melfi (co-written by Allison Schroeder), based on the novel of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I watched the movie on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, which was very appropriate.  I highly recommend it. The book is also available for checkout at the library.


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