In a strong act of commitment to a more equitable society, 174 public libraries across North America have signed the Urban Libraries Council’s Statement on Race and Social Equity. This statement serves as a baseline upon which libraries can build policies and actions that make their communities more inclusive and just. The statement reads as follows:
As leaders of North America’s public libraries, we are committed to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. Our libraries can help achieve true and sustained equity through an intentional, systemic and transformative library-community partnership. Our library systems are working to achieve equity in the communities we serve by:
- Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices
- Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
- Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
- Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
- Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities
Libraries are trusted, venerable and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in the movement for racial and social equity.