In the midst of many tragic events occurring in Minnesota, and world-wide, I came upon an article by Angela Hursh, an expert in library marketing and social media. The article, How libraries can combat racial inequity, lays out a framework, as well as tools and tips, around social justice. "Social justice aligns with the core values of library work. Equal access, educational equality, free service, and safe spaces are all essential and valuable library missions." I've summarized below some steps you can take, as librarians, to make your community, and the world, a better place.
First of all, as we learned in reference 101, be aware of your own bias. Just as we might question other peoples beliefs, thoughts, and ideas, we must be vigilant in questioning our own. Here is a list of anti-racist resources including books, videos, podcasts, articles, and organizations to follow and support. Hursh also shared this link to Kim Crowder's blog on diversity in library marketing. Secondly, recommend diverse books to your patrons and the library community. There are a lot of resources available to locate diverse books that create empathy. One place to look is weneeddiversebooks.org. Next, be thoughtful and intentional about adding diversity to storytime and programming and be sure to use diverse images in your library marketing. Hursh mentions that some studies show that younger library users are more responsive to diverse representations. Finally, use social media for good. Engage patrons and followers by starting a conversation about diversity. Share posts from interracial community organizations and be sure to "curate content on diversity, equity, and inclusion."