The New Hampshire Library Association commits to taking action to end racism in our libraries and in our communities. In the memory of George Floyd, who was murdered at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, and in memory of the people of color in the United States who have suffered injustice, violence, and countless indignities, we recognize that the time has come to say “enough.”
We stand in support of the statement of our colleagues of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association who wrote, “ It is necessary for the membership to be proactive not only when someone in our community is harmed, but preventative in anticipating historically sanctioned violence by participating in local efforts to counter racism and violence against Black men and women. The systemic machinery of racism does not sleep and neither should we in our efforts to counter it.” While they refer to the membership of BCALA, we extend this challenge to the New Hampshire library community.
The NHLA Board will form an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion taskforce immediately to guide the work ahead. We promise to support our libraries in professional development, hiring practices, board and committee appointments, collection development, programming and other ways identified by our community as a need.
The core values of libraries include democracy, social responsibility, diversity, and education. New Hampshire Libraries have the ability to make a difference in our communities and must act to support people of color who have repeatedly experienced racism, exclusion or discrimination. Our reputation as committed, caring community partners makes us well suited to the task ahead. To those who are already involved in this work, thank you. To those who are ready to do better, so are we.