Saint Paul Public Library joins 124 urban libraries in a nationwide commitment to racial and social equity

Date:

One year after it received the Top Innovator Award for Racial and Social Equity from the Urban Library Council (ULC), Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) joins 124 other urban libraries in signing ULC’s statement on racial and social equity.

The statement serves as a baseline upon which libraries can build policies and actions that make their communities more inclusive and just. It reads:

As leaders of North America’s public libraries, we are committed to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. Our libraries can achieve true and sustained equity through an international, systemic, and transformative library-community partnership. Our library systems are working to achieve equity in the communities we serve by:

  • Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies, and practices
  • Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion, and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
  • Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
  • Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
  • Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities

Libraries are trusted, venerable, and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in the movement for racial and social equity. 
 
Key elements of SPPL’s racial and social equity work include:

  • Improved recruitment efforts that resulted in 40 percent of library staff being individuals of color, reflecting the City’s population as a whole.
  • Expanded storytimes to 8 other languages, including Amharic, Hmong, Karen, Oromo, and Somali, establishing greater parity with English language storytimes.
  • Instituted annual racial equity plans for all branches, departments, and teams, elevating racial and social equity as a fundamental strategic priority.
  • Eliminated library card requirement for computer use because of disproportionate impact on patrons of color.

To date, the following libraries have signed on to ULC’s statement:

ALASKA

Anchorage Public Library             

ALBERTA

Calgary Public Library 

Edmonton Public Library                              

ARIZONA

Pima County Public Library

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Surrey Libraries

CALIFORNIA

Alameda County Library

Berkeley Public Library 

Carlsbad City Library 

Contra Costa County Library 

County of Los Angeles Public Library 

Fresno County Public Library 

Los Angeles Public Library 

Marin County Free Library

Oakland Public Library

Palo Alto City Library

Pasadena Public Library 

San Diego Public Library                               

San Francisco Public Library                        

San José Public Library                  

San Mateo County Library                           

Santa Clara County Library

Santa Monica Public Library

Sunnyvale Public Library

COLORADO

Anythink

Aurora Public Library

Denver Public Library

Jefferson County Public Library

Poudre River Public Library District

CONNECTICUT

Hartford Public Library 

New Haven Free Public Library 

Russell Library

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

District of Columbia Public Library 

FLORIDA

Broward County Library  

Jacksonville Public Library

Miami-Dade Public Library System          

Palm Beach County Library System 

Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

GEORGIA

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System 

Chattahoochee Valley Libraries

Gwinnett County Public Library                

ILLINOIS

Chicago Public Library 

Oak Park Public Library

Skokie Public Library

INDIANA

Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library

Indianapolis Public Library 

Johnson County Public Library

IOWA

Cedar Rapids Public Library

Des Moines Public Library 

KANSAS

Johnson County Library  

Wichita Public Library 

KENTUCKY

Lexington Public Library

Louisville Free Public Library

LOUISIANA

East Baton Rouge Parish Library

New Orleans Public Library         

Shreve Memorial Library

MAINE

Portland Public Library

MARYLAND

Enoch Pratt Free Library 

Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston Public Library     

Cambridge Public Library

Springfield City Library  

MICHIGAN

Detroit Public Library

Grand Rapids Public Library   

Kalamazoo Public Library 

Kent District Library

West Bloomfield Township Public Library 

MINNESOTA

Hennepin County Library 

St. Paul Public Library

MISSOURI

Kansas City Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library

St. Louis County Library  

St. Louis Public Library 

NEBRASKA

Do Space

Lincoln City Libraries

Omaha Public Library 

NEVADA

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

NEW JERSEY

Newark Public Library

NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System

NEW YORK

Brooklyn Public Library                 

New York Public Library                

Rochester Public Library

NORTH CAROLINA

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Durham County Library                

Greensboro Public Library 

OHIO

Cleveland Public Library 

Columbus Metropolitan Library 

Cuyahoga County Public Library                
Dayton Metro Library    

East Cleveland Public Library

Stark County District Library                       

The Public Library of Youngstown &

Mahoning County

Toledo-Lucas County Public Library 

OKLAHOMA

Pioneer Library System

Tulsa City-County Library

ONTARIO

Hamilton Public Library 

Kitchener Public Library

Ottawa Public Library 

Toronto Public Library

OREGON

Multnomah County Library         

PENNSYLVANIA

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh   

Free Library of Philadelphia

RHODE ISLAND

Providence Public Library 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Richland Library

TENNESSEE

Chattanooga Public Library

Memphis Public Library and Information

Center

Nashville Public Library

TEXAS

Dallas Public Library

El Paso Public Library 

Fort Worth Library 

Frisco Public Library

Harris County Library

Houston Public Library 

San Antonio Public Library 

UTAH

Salt Lake County Library Services

VIRGINIA

Alexandria Library 

Chesterfield County Public Library

Roanoke County Public Library

Virginia Beach Public Library

WASHINGTON

Fort Vancouver Regional Library District

King County Library System 

Pierce County Library System

Sno-Isle Libraries

WISCONSIN

Madison Public Library

Milwaukee Public Library