Dear Community Members,
The Talbot County Free Library stands with our community against all forms of racism, social injustice, and hatred. Recent tragic events have underscored that many individuals in our nation and our community are hurting. In order to begin healing we need to be introspective and work together toward addressing inequities. The library remains committed to making all community members feel welcome, heard, and supported, and to providing the resources and services that allow everyone in the community to thrive.
The Talbot County Free Library has joined other public libraries in adopting and supporting the following Statement of Race and Social Equity of the Urban Libraries Council which reads:
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.
In addition, the Talbot County Free Library supports the Maryland Library Association's recently published Statement Against Racism which reads:
The Executive Board of the Maryland Library Association joins the
Black Caucus of the American Library Association,
as well as the many voices in our communities, in condemning recent and historic acts of systemic racism and injustice. Many of us became library workers out of a passion for equity, inclusion, and diversity and a real desire to advance these values in our communities. We are all experiencing the impacts of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmed Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other black lives differently. We also are all experiencing the responses of our nation's leaders, as well as the organizations we support or represent, differently.
But we are not neutral or ambivalent in our response to these unconscionable events. Systemic racism not only undermines our values, it destroys lives and communities. We are united in our belief that Black Lives Matter. We stand with people of color in our communities and in the library profession. We stand with the victims of marginalization and oppression. We call on our members to stand with us in radically opposing all forms of racial oppression, violence, and injustice. Furthermore, we commit to intensifying our work to resolve long-standing equity and opportunity gaps within the library profession.
Statement without action accomplishes nothing. In the days to come, the leadership of the Maryland Library Association will actively engage with our membership to listen, learn, and lead, and above all, to prioritize the Association’s role in working to advance justice and reconciliation in our communities.
The Talbot County Free Library supports equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and encourages constructive conversations toward those goals. We commit to taking an active role in advancing social equity through the availability of diverse programs, collections, and resources for all ages, and by providing opportunities to gather in a shared space of fellowship. This work is ever evolving and requires all of us to continue to stretch, grow, set new goals, and most importantly to be kind and supportive of one another. We all can do more; together we can continue to improve our response to social and racial inequity.