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Trustees’ Commitment To Equity And Inclusion

The Trustees of the Needham Free Public Library’s Resolution to Reaffirm
the Needham Free Public Library’s Commitment to Inclusion and Equity in
Response to Recent Events of Racial Injustice

The Trustees of the Needham Free Public Library reaffirm the library’s commitment to Inclusion
and Equity in response to the continuing racial injustice and systemic racism in our country
exemplified by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in the custody of the
Minneapolis, Minnesota police on May 25, 2020. We concur in the Needham Select Board’s
statement: “As evidenced by peaceful vigils and protests across the country, people of every color
demand an end to the racism and intolerance that has led to unjustifiable death of so many

The Library’s mission, as stated in its Mission Statement, is to provide “access to materials,
resources and information in its endeavor to expand minds, celebrate diversity, embrace
differences and build community”. The Library’s Vision Statement provides, in part, “The library
will be a vibrant and welcoming place for all people to gather, meet, and learn.” Extensive
community input for the Library’s current 5-year Strategic Plan (for FY2017-FY2021) led to one of
the Plan’s stated Goals being to “provide programs and services that reflect the community’s
needs and wants, focusing on all ages, embracing diversity and inclusion, and offering life-long
learning opportunities.”

The Library will redouble its efforts to combat systemic racism and to implement its stated
Mission and Vision statements and strategic Goals, by taking these specific steps:

  • Develop additional programing to raise awareness and educate the community on Black history in the United States, racial equity and anti-racism;
  • Review current materials (physical and digital) related to racial equity and, if not already in the Library collection, secure the most relevant materials for access by Library patrons, both adults and children; and
  • Provide anti-racist and unconscious-bias training to Library trustees and Library staff to inform interactions with Library patrons, particularly patrons of color.

Unanimously adopted June 9, 2020

Carol J. Thomas, Chair

Anna Giraldo-Kerr, Vice-Chair

Kay M. Cahill, Secretary

Jay M. Fialkov

Richard C. Hardy

Thomas M. Harkins

Robert A. Petitt