The recent killing of George Floyd is a reminder of the enduring history of racially-motivated violence against people of color. We add our voices to those who have spoken out against this and state that the University of Utah Libraries (Marriott Library, Eccles Health Sciences Library, and Faust Law Library) stand with those around the world who are protesting systemic oppression and violence. We believe that Black lives matter, and we acknowledge that a long legacy of white supremacy and pervasive racism has caused generations of harm and created social and individual realities that contradict our nation’s stated values of liberty, opportunity, and justice.
Patrons come to libraries seeking many things—information, technology, gathering spaces—but perhaps the most important thing we can provide is an environment where such positive values are upheld in reality. To that end, we are committed to advancing the strategies promulgated by the Association of Research Libraries.
What we are doing right now:
- We have hired an expert to facilitate a dialogue on race with us and our employees later this month; we envision this as one of many learning and reflection activities
- We are educating ourselves by reading, reflecting, and listening, so that we are better prepared to lead the libraries in countering racist and oppressive systems
- We are engaging our senior leadership teams in a process to identify specific outcomes that we can achieve over the next 3-6 months
- To amplify Black voices, we have created a web page listing resources as well as a curated list of books related to race and overcoming racism and will be asking students to contribute titles that we will then purchase and provide as ebooks.
Alongside the U’s President Ruth Watkins and other campus leaders, we also are committed to ensuring that our campus is a place where people can come together to create a compassionate, equitable, and just society. In the libraries, this begins with the way we treat those who come to us seeking assistance. We are committed to creating a welcoming, judgment-free climate for every person who comes through our doors, in-person or virtually, and providing equitable access to our resources.
We will uphold values of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and social justice within our libraries, campus, and community. We are committed to answering the American Library Association’s call to action to ensure that racism “has no place in our institutions, our policies, our practices, or our behaviors.”
Alberta Comer, Dean of Libraries
Catherine Soehner, Director of Eccles Health Sciences Library
Melissa Bernstein, Director of Faust Law Library
Anti-Racism Reading Lists
The Eccles Health Sciences Library has an ever-evolving Antiracism Resources Guide.
A number of the titles found in these lists are available at the library and we are working to acquire as many as we can.
If there is a title you don’t see in our catalog, please let us know and we’ll do our best to get it.
- Anti Racism Project – Find titles from this list in Usearch
- Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University – Find titles from this list in Usearch
- Coretta Scott King Book Awards – Find titles from this list in Usearch
- ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table: Black Lives Matter Comics Reading List – Find titles from this list in Usearch
- Reading for Change: Booklist-Recommended Antiracism Titles for All Ages – Find titles from this list in Usearch