COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has signed onto an Urban Libraries Council (ULC) statement affirming its commitment to racial and social equity. It is one of 124 urban library systems in the U.S. and Canada to do so. The ULC statement reads as follows:
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 help achieve true and sustained equity through an intentional, 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.
CML views this statement as being in alignment with its organizational values of Respect, Integrity and Inspiration; its purpose to inspire reading, share resources and connect people; and its vision of a thriving community where wisdom prevails.
“This statement reaffirms what we already know to be true about the evolving role of public libraries,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “More than just a home for books, we are ‘Open to All’ and remain committed to helping our community reach its full potential.”
Other urban Ohio libraries to sign this statement include Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, East Cleveland Public Library, Stark County District Library, The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County and Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
Click here to view the full list of signatories.
For more information, visit urbanlibraries.org.
Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.
CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.