A statement and pledge from University of South Carolina Libraries
University Libraries condemns the tragic murder of George Floyd, the latest in a string of horrendous attacks, and denounces the centuries of violence against Black and other peoples of color throughout the history of our nation and state. We acknowledge and condemn systemic racism and the impact it has on individuals, communities, and entire races.
We acknowledge the pain and raw emotion that many people feel. We support peaceful protest. We encourage difficult, but necessary, conversations. Now is the time to recognize, learn about, and face our personal biases.
We reaffirm our commitment to uphold the University of South Carolina’s core values of diversity of ideas and people as outlined in the Carolinian Creed.
We will create a learning community grounded in knowledge, dialogue, respect, and acceptance. Academic libraries position themselves as sources of wisdom and centers of learning for the community. At times, we have filled these roles admirably. At other times, we have failed. We cannot erase the past, but we can commit ourselves to building a better future by being honest about what we are and what we need to be.
We commit to helping our employees learn about implicit bias, systemic racism, and white privilege through research, study, conversation, and personal reflection. We will support our campus and larger community in their efforts to do the same. As an academic library with vast historical collections, specialized staff, and growing access points, we will help accomplish the change we seek and need.
We pledge to:
- Build and promote collections that document the experiences of diverse people including civil rights leaders, activists, scholars, and educators and their work to end systematic racism in America.
- Develop and implement initiatives to reach marginalized campus populations by providing information about cost-saving research materials including Open Educational Resources and Libraries-licensed resources.
- Promote open job positions through more inclusive advertising avenues and hire a more diverse workforce that more closely mirrors the demographics of our University and community populations.
- Provide robust diversity and inclusion training and professional development for all Libraries faculty and staff.
We are committed to doing what is right. Our unwavering promise is to exceed expectations.