The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is committed to dismantling systemic racism. As a member of the Urban Libraries Council, we support their June 1 Statement on the Role of Libraries in Dismantling Systemic Racism, which acknowledges that “systemic racism undermines our society and putting an end to it will require all citizens to work together” and that “public libraries have a unique and vital role to play in advancing equity and addressing racial divides.”
This is not to say that libraries are perfect and that public statements alone can put an end to racism. The history of libraries is problematic and in many instances, has been racist. Even the profession of librarianship in the United States is 88% white by a 2012 estimate. Our own library director has written about the need for libraries to do better, citing the Library’s value of being welcoming – valuing diversity, equity, and fairness.
We can all work together to solve these problems. But as many have written, being “not racist” is not enough.To be anti-racist, we must understand the history of racial disparities, acknowledge privilege and actively fight against racism.
As part of the Library’s mission to “engage all communities, inspire lifelong learning, and provide universal access to a broad range of information [and] ideas,” you can utilize the library resources listed below to learn about the history of racial disparity in the United States and what you can do to work towards making the world a more just and equitable place.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi – Ebook | Digital Audiobook | Print
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo – Ebook | Digital Audiobook | Print
March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell – Digital Comic | Print
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander – Ebook | Print
A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes – Ebook | Print
I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi – Ebook | Print
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad – Ebook | Digital Audiobook
Black History In Its Own Words by Ronald Wimberly – Digital Comic