A Message from the City Librarian on the Library’s Commitment to Ending Structural Racism and Building a More Equitable Society

June 1, 2020 | Media Relations

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Like so many of you, I am angered and saddened by the events that have transpired in the United States over the past several days. At the same time, we must recognize and acknowledge the inequities in our own communities that cause so much injustice, poverty and suffering here as well.

At this time, I want to reiterate your library’s commitment to ending the structural racism and inequities in our society. As a member of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC), TPL has joined more than 160 North American public library systems to show our strong commitment to ending structural racism by signing ULC’s Statement on Race and Social Equity. Libraries use this statement as a baseline for building progressive policies, activities and collaborative relationships to advance equity.

As this statement acknowledges, the work we must do to build a more equitable and just society can only be done through sustained, intentional, informed, systemic and transformative library-community partnerships. I want Toronto to know that I, along with everyone at TPL, are committed to doing this work.

To help build greater understanding of the issues and the actions we can take, library staff have compiled a Black Lives Matter reading list. I encourage all Torontonians to use their library to become more informed and engaged, as we work together to make our city and its communities more equitable, fair and safe.

Vickery Bowles
City Librarian