We stand with our Black neighbors, colleagues, and friends in the quest for social justice, and in condemning racism in all its forms. We believe that every person, regardless of race, should be able to live without fear in their communities.
Libraries have long been a refuge in times of peril. Georgia’s public libraries are open and welcoming to all. The library profession stands for an enduring optimism that can help us move beyond anger. Our work in offering information and knowledge to all who seek it, in providing all our communities with the resources, tools, and assistance they need to reach their full potential, and through their success improve the world around us, is our way of helping to shape the future. Moreover, our libraries are the space in every community for gathering, discussion, examination of ideas, and coming together as Georgians and finding our commonalities.
We are one of more than 160 signatories to the Urban Libraries Council’s Statement on Race and Social Equity, which reads in part:
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.