In response to recent and ongoing events of violence and injustice committed against Black, Indigenous and people of colour, in Canada and throughout North America, the Prince George Public Library has released a statement affirming its commitment to anti-racism.
“For me, the library represents that one place on earth where there is no expectation, but to learn, explore, be inspired or just be,” said Arlene Stevens, board trustee. “I want to ensure that all people are represented within our library’s walls and that their stories live here, too. Our library is a better place when the stories of Black, First Nations, Métis, South Asian and other people of colour can be found here.”
The Board has committed to a number of actions to further anti-racism work within the organization, including:
- Ensuring that all events hosted on library property and all official library communications include an acknowledgement that the library conducts its work on the ancestral lands of the Lheidli T’enneh people.
- Reviewing and updating library spaces and procedures to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and people of colour are treated with dignity and respect, and that they feel safe and welcome at the library.
- Developing a diversity policy that supports the recruitment and development of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour at all levels of the organization and board of trustees.
- Consulting with the public and organizations that advocate for and serve Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
- Creating programs and events that are specifically designed to reach Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
The entire statement can be found on the library’s website: www.pgpl.ca/statements/anti-racism.
“We know that this is a time for listening to Black, Indigenous, and people of colour. We also acknowledge that we have a professional and ethical responsibility to ensure that library collections, programs, services, resources, and staff are employed in service of the goal of dismantling racism,” said Paul Burry, Library Director.
The board has begun work on a new diversity policy. Next, staff will begin consultation with the community to learn more about how the library can better serve Black, Indigenous, and people of colour. Anti-racism will also feature prominently in the development of the library’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.