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Library Foundation Community Message

The Library Foundation joins our friends and colleagues in Louisville and across the nation in the battle against overt and systemic racism.

The Library Foundation staff, volunteers and donors understand that education and knowledge are powerful weapons against ignorance, hate and racism. By continuously advocating for public dollars and soliciting private donor dollars in support of the Louisville Free Public Library system, we are committed to ensuring the future of an institution vital in combating racism – an institution that serves all people in all areas of our community.

Through the the Louisville Free Public Library, the Library Foundation is an active member of the Urban Libraries Council. Weconcur with ULC President & CEO Susan Benton’s recent statement: 

 “Systemic racism undermines our society and putting an end to it will require all citizens to work together — with the active support of dedicated community and government leaders. As highly trusted institutions and essential foundations of civic infrastructure, public libraries have a unique and vital role to play in advancing equity and addressing racial divides.

“Twenty-first century libraries are pillars of safety, inclusion, diversity and democracy for the communities we serve. Libraries provide equitable access to information and digital resources for all people, regardless of race. They provide safe, respectful and welcoming spaces for civic discourse and the expression of diverse voices. Through carefully curated collections, community partnerships and targeted outreach, libraries intentionally engage and serve the needs of all populations. And, increasingly, libraries are taking bold stands and speaking up to call out and combat social injustice.”

                      Urban Libraries Council Statement on Race and Social Equity

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.

Link to full statement by ULC & CEO Susan Benton here.

Link to Urban Libraries Council Statement on Race and Social Equity here.

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