Equity and Inclusion Statement
On Friday, June 26th, the American Libraries Association (ALA) released a statement acknowledging its role in “upholding unjust systems of racism and discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the association and the profession.” They recognized that the founding of the Association was not built on inclusion and equity and instead was built on systemic racism and discrimination. The ALA committed to their core values of equity, diversity and inclusion and took responsibility for their past, pledging to build a more equitable association and library community for the future.
At the Camas Public Library, we are taking this cue from ALA leaders. Thus, to show our commitment to equity and inclusion we are taking concrete actions so that we can acknowledge, respect, and celebrate the differences and commonalities among us. These actions include the following.
- We are committed to creating a race equity culture at the Library, within the staff and amongst our patrons. A race equity culture is one wherin our staff proactively work to fight racial inequities at the Library and our community.
- We’ve added a statement on equity and inclusion to our strategic plan. It was approved by our Board of Trustees last night (July 9th, 2020).
- We are launching a community reads initiative in August, with book discussions and guest speakers all on the topic of race. The highlighted title is How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Exciting details will be unveiled soon!
- We acknowledge that systemic racism and discrimination exist everywhere, including Camas. We are willing to be vulnerable, to do the work, and to be open to change. Our staff commits to at least one training per month on the topic of bias, equity and/or inclusion.
We know we have much more to learn and do. Do better, be better.
-Connie Urquhart, Library Director
July 10, 2020