From the Director of the Library
Black Lives Matter. This is important to say. It is important to say in solidarity. It is important to say because it is true. It is important to say because, as a library, we know words have power.
It is also important, as a library in higher education, that we acknowledge that both libraries and higher education are part of the systems of racism in our country. We at E&H Library are committed to doing the work to change these systems.
This summer we were preparing to announce our new vision for E&H Library: To be a central hub of a vibrant and diverse learning community.
Now we are challenged to take a new lens to examine what it means to be part of a diverse learning community.
Here are the concrete steps we are starting with:
- Initiating staff conversations on issues of race and racism in libraries and higher education. We have begun this work and have much more to do. All Library Staff are participating in important and sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race and racism. Library staff member Adam has written his reflections following our first staff conversation in the latest post on the Library’s blog.
- Providing and highlighting resources on the work of anti-racism for our campus community and classrooms. Compiled in collaboration with the EHC Office of Diversity and Inclusion, this Library Guide connects you with a range of curated content available on the web and in the Library’s collections. Guide of Anti-Racism Resources
- Providing access to new ebooks on anti-racism and sources that address issues of systemic racism. While the Library is closed due to the pandemic, we want you to have access to these resources now. These eBooks were purchased in partnership with the EHC Political Science Department.
- Prioritizing diverse perspectives and works by authors of color in our collection development work across disciplines and collections. We’ve said this, but now we’re going to SAY it. These priorities will be codified in our forthcoming Collection Development Plan, which outlines the collection spending priorities for upcoming fiscal cycles.
- Addressing the need for accessible and centralized academic support space. The Library, Student Success, and the PRC are coordinating to create a central learning center in Kelly Library. This will provide easier and more equitable access to tutoring and academic support services.
This is where we’re starting. We look forward with hope to see the changes taking root.
June 20, 2020