The more recent legacy of public libraries is in providing free and equal access to all of its programs and services. This includes a commitment to make sure libraries serve and represent their most marginalized and vulnerable populations, who might otherwise have no voice, with the same passion and responsibility as populations who traditionally have more power, more resources and a louder collective voice. That legacy is now more important than ever.
As the Mill Valley Public Library recommits to upholding that tradition, we must also acknowledge the persistent lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the librarian profession, that is also present at our Library. We know that we can and should do better. We will make sure we dig deeper, reach farther, and are more vigilant in making sure our staff, our collection, our policies, and programs represent, welcome and meet the needs of everyone who walks through our doors. We will do more to reach out to those who cannot or do not physically visit us, and those who might not feel that they are welcome.
Libraries have also always tried to respond to the unique needs and issues of their community. Our role has often been one of providing reliable information, good reading recommendations, educational programs as well as a place to gather and discuss issues. At this time, though we can't gather in person, we can still provide reliable information and recommendations to those who want to better understand racism and become more informed about the Black Lives Matter movement. We encourage you to read from our recommended resources and start discussions not only with friends and family, but to reach out to people who might not think like you, to get different perspectives.
The urgency of this moment impels us to question if and how we can do more. Please let us know how you think the Mill Valley Public Library can better address the inequality and racism in our community both now and in the future. Send your comments here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The staff at the Mill Valley Public Library believes Black Lives Matter is, has been, and will always be of local importance.