The Board of Trustees of the Chemung Library District joins the American Library Association and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism towards Black People and all People of Color.
Libraries are sometimes referred to as repositories of information which isn’t a bad description, but it is only a small part of what we do. A repository gives the idea of something in the past or isn’t current. However, the services we provide our community occur in the present and continue to happen daily.
The events of the last several days are but the most recent example in a long history of violence against Black People in the United States. The pervasive racism that continues to exist in our nation denies our citizens their fundamental rights as expressed in the Declaration of Independence- the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It also denies basic and fundamental Human Rights such as the right to liberty; the right to due process of law; right to freedom of thought; the right to freedom of expression; and the right to peaceful assembly.
What is happening now requires a response. We must speak out against racism and injustice. Many in our community are hurting. Many face the threat of prejudice, violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity and the Chemung County Library District cannot stand idly by. An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere. Such injustices are abhorrent to the code of ethics of libraries and their staff.
The pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and, as such, is a barrier to the goals of all who work for and support in the ideals of the Chemung County Library District and to the wider profession.
Now is the time to listen to those most affected by these systemic problems so we can start to heal our community and our nation.