Social Justice

James M. Milne Library Statement of Action for Social and Racial Justice

We have mourned the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals whose lives were also unjustly ended in violence. We believe Black lives matter, and we stand with those who protest violence against BIPOC individuals and communities. We believe our institutions and society should be guided by principles of social justice and the equality and dignity of all people. Libraries play a critical role in correcting systemic racism and promoting social and racial justice. In the spirit of constructive change, the James M. Milne Library commits to the following actions:

  • We will acknowledge our role in supporting the legacy systems and define the role we play in their dismantling.
  • We commit to a review of our collections to ensure marginalized voices are represented.
  • We recognize the bias inherent in our infrastructure --notably in the Library of Congress classifications and subject headings-- and commit to allocating resources and personnel to identify and change them.
  • We will educate ourselves and share what we learn about how oppression manifests at all levels: interpersonal, institutional, and systemic.
  • We will undertake information literacy initiatives and outreach to disrupt and eliminate bias, intolerance, and racism.
  • We commit to changing our recruitment and hiring practices, ensuring direct outreach to candidates of color.
  • We will create and maintain nurturing, safe spaces for learning and growth, where all people experience the dignity and respect they deserve.

These actions are only the beginning of a longer journey of committing to antiracism and social justice. Acting in solidarity with our BIPOC colleagues and patrons is a starting point, not a finish line. As an institution and as individuals, we welcome this opportunity to grow so that the James M. Milne can become a place where all feel welcome, seen, and heard.

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