UPDATE: for those who would like to listen to an excellent exposé of racism in the U.S. justice system, The New Jim Crow in eAudio is now available until July 14 for unlimited access.
Libraries have long been, and will always remain, important community hubs where everyone is welcome, no matter who they are and what their circumstances are.
At Ottawa Public Library, we value equity and inclusion, and we support access to information that is balanced and fair. It is a continued responsibility for us all to help share the perspectives and experiences of Black and other marginalized communities.
Part of our vision is to build communities, and this is reflected in our collections, services and spaces and this helps guide our work today.
Ottawa Public Library, along with over 160 other North American libraries, signed the Urban Libraries Council (ULC)’s Statement on Race and Social Equity. This is just one part of a broader conversation the Library has, and will continue to have, with community partners and customers across the City. We are committed to applying our values, and the sentiments in the ULC Statement, in our work -- from policies and procedures to new initiatives and programs. We are also committed to listening, and we welcome opportunities to work with community members to support initiatives that stand up against racism and bigotry.
As a starting point, we have created lists of #OwnVoices titles related to black history, another on the Black Lives Matter social justice movement*, parenting books about bringing up anti-racist children and titles for teens and kids to benefit from, all for virtual borrowing.
- For adults: ottawa.bibliocommons.com/list/share/99931640_nathancarofrechette/1650400189_black_lives_matter_a_book_list
- For adults: ottawa.overdrive.com/collection/1085566
- For parents: ottawa.bibliocommons.com/list/share/72152117/1650545819
- For kids: https://ottawa.overdrive.com/library/kids/collection/1041357
- For teens: https://ottawa.overdrive.com/library/teens/collection/1087441
There is still a lot of work to be done to fight systemic racism in our communities, and we can all do our part. We must all be willing to unlearn, in order to learn.
We will continue to work together, with intention, to build a world that is more equitable and welcoming for all.