Statement from LWTech Library Learning Commons

The LWTech Library and Systemic Racism and Oppression

June, 2020

Dear Members of the LWTech Community,

The library team acknowledges the problem of racism and antiblackness pervasive within our society. The murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis and countless other Black individuals for hundreds and hundreds of years reflects the reality of systemic racism and oppression in our country.

These racist systems and structures have harmed and continue to harm Black students, employees, and community members at LWTech, and the library is committed to responding. Today’s letter outlines our ongoing actions and provides a list of places where members of the community can start or continue their learning.

We intend to keep this letter in a visible location on our webpage, with an ever-expanding list of resources as our work develops. In addition to our research, we are learning from and continuing to curate library resources on equity topics, including race. We are open to your suggestions for valuable resources and how you feel this conversation should be shaped at the college.

In solidarity and support,

Your Librarians: Greg Bem, Katherine Kelley, Sue Wozniak

What are our actions?

The LWTech library team is reviewing the actions it has taken and the new actions it will take in combatting racism.

  • Personal Bias – We are learning about and discussing how racism shows up within ourselves and within the work we each do in the library.
  • Team Bias – We are evaluating and thinking about the whiteness on the staff team and how that impacts bias and decision-making.
  • External Engagement – We are investigating local, external antiracist organizations to partner with in the upcoming school year.
  • On-Campus Events – We are continuing to collaborate with the RISE Center on bringing diverse trainings, discussions, and events to the school and offering library spaces for these events.
  • Policy Revision – We are revising the library’s mission statement to center antiracist work.
  • Collection Development – We are continuing to intentionally build in diverse resources into its collection development strategies, including books, movies, and databases. The resources listed in the following section represent an initial exploration into antiracist works that can support our community.
  • Teaching Practices – We are developing strategies for including antiracist thinking in our librarian information literacy courses and research services.
  • Professional Collaboration – We are connected to associations and other guiding, organized groups in collecting and sharing antiracist resources, and considering how white supremacy has created and dictated many of the resources used in our library.
  • Antiracism Programming We are developing courageous conversations to deepen our personal understanding and development in the work, in collaboration with the EDI Council, as well as other campus events.

Resource List: Recommended Starting Points

As many of you have come to know, the library considers itself a center in the LWTech community for education, information, and knowledge sharing. Note: please email library@lwtech.edu if you need help finding these resources. Some may be available at the LWTech Library or the King County Library System.

Reading Lists

Readings

Podcasts

Films & Videos

Data Sources