The East Lansing Public Library and Board of Trustees Statement on Anti-racism

The East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) denounces racism, injustice and discrimination in all forms. We stand in solidarity with the American Library Association (ALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Michigan Library Association (MLA), the City of East Lansing, our library workers, our library patrons, our community leaders, and our community members, in condemning violence and racism towards Black Americans and People of Color. We hear and support everyone in our communities who have experienced feeling threatened, marginalized, and discriminated against because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ableness, age, and social economic status. The senseless and horrific murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Tayler, and the deaths and harassment of countless others have led to action across the country and the world, and the East Lansing Public Library joins in this response.

ELPL and its Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers are committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in all forms and we stand firm in condemning the systemic and systematic social injustices and racism. The East Lansing Public Library must effect change by:

Increasing our training on equity, diversity and inclusion for staff and will actively participate in the City of East Lansing’s training workshops.

Continuing to develop and create programming that is diverse and inclusive.

Assessing and adjusting job requirements to create more opportunities and remove barriers to entry, as well as, advertising and recruiting positions in diverse spaces.

Building a collection that is diverse and accessible, and make collection purchasing decisions through lenses of racial diversity and inclusivity by ensuring the LGBTQIA+ community; refugees and immigrants; persons with disabilities; students; and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are represented in our collection in honest and relevant ways.

Maintaining the library as an anonymous and safe space.

Facilitating open dialog on matters of race, equity and inclusion for staff and the community.

Dismantling policies and practices that limit patron access or perpetuate misconceptions.

Creating a strong collaboration and partnership with the community in any interactions regarding issues of diversity and equity ensuring that we are reflective and responsive to the needs of our community and patrons.

Listening to and receiving feedback from BIPOC, reflecting on the feedback, and changing our behaviors accordingly.

Holding ourselves accountable for treating all people with respect and dignity, and providing resources and support to businesses, organizations, community members and patrons who are making the same commitments.

Words are no longer enough, a single program or book discussion on racism is not enough. The East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers declare to be anti-racists and will work to eradicate racism in all forms from our community.

Approved by the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees on June 17, 2020

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