In light of the events in Madison and across our nation, the Library and Library Board have issued these two statements.
Madison Public Library Is Committed to Racial Equity
Madison Public Library stands with the members of our community who demand change and condemn violence and racism toward people of color.
Madison Public Library strives to be an extension of our community. We place community at the center of our work, and it is at the center of our strategic lens used in decision-making throughout the library. We look to the community for our inspiration and we are a trusted partner to many.
We have made strides in putting racial equity at the forefront of our decisions in past years. We have examined and changed our hiring practices to reduce bias and be more inclusive. We have examined many practices through a racial equity lens, from the diversity of the materials we purchase, to the vendors we contract with, to a more intentional focus on partnering with organizations who serve people of color, and we prioritize the work of those partnerships in our programs and services. But we need to do more and continue to improve our response to racial equity.
We know our community is hurting, and this is a vital time for us to focus on those who need our resources and services. It is not a time to be silent and we will not ignore the hardships and injustices that people of color endure daily.
Madison Public Library will continue to advocate to help correct the inequities and focus our work for that purpose. We will shine an equity lens on ourselves, to examine how implicit bias and systemic racism has shaped our services, and continue our internal work to review policies, procedures, and practices.
It is a time to come together and support each other. It is time to be part of the conversation, to listen, and to engage respectfully. Madison Public Library will stand up for our community, especially for our black and brown communities, to amplify their voices, acknowledge the injustices, and to help facilitate the conversations. It is our promise to our community, and our dedication to racial equity.
Greg Mickells, Library Director
In 2018, Madison Public Library also signed the Urban Libraries Council Statement on Race and Social Equity.
Madison Public Library Board Is Committed to Racial Equity
The Madison Public Library Board stands with the members of our community who demand change. We call out and condemn institutional racism and violence toward people of color.
Madison Public Library’s vision of being “your place to learn, share and create” applies to everyone. The library places community at the center of every decision, focusing on literacy, engagement, equity, and accountability.
As a board, we are committed to examining policies, procedures, and projects through a racial equity lens and we make budget decisions through a racial equity lens.
The Library Board is working to create racially diverse leadership opportunities. We strive to hear and elevate the voices of people of color, both inside the library and out in our community.
Jaime Healy-Plotkin, President
Jair Alvarez, Vice-President
Cindy Fesemyer, Secretary/Treasurer
Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney, Madison Common Council
Lisa Hempstead, Madison Metropolitan School District Representative