Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

A Note from the Director

Recent events of racism and physical violence against Blacks across our country are both frightening and abhorrent. Monroe County Public Library mourns the lost lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more. 

As a trusted community institution, we stand in solidarity with the American Library Association (ALA), the Black Caucus of the ALA, and with Monroe County residents who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. We condemn the systemic and systematic social injustices endured by Black people and people of color and we stand against racism and injustice.

We must all affirm that Black Lives Matter and understand that “all lives matter” is not an appropriate response. We must acknowledge systemic racism and the role that we all play in it––in our homes, our workplaces, and our community organizations.

The Library reaffirms its mission, values, and goals to strengthen our community through civil discourse, inclusiveness, respect, and safety by providing a safe and welcoming place for all and promoting a climate of civility, inclusiveness, and compassion.

As part of our reaffirmation, we want to share some actions we’ve recently taken and are committed to in the future:

  • Staff participated in implicit bias and homelessness training and will continue to participate in other opportunities to achieve a better understanding of how to reduce inequities
  • An ongoing review of programming, services, collections, partnerships, and staffing to ensure equitable practices and procedures are in place
  • In an effort to make the Library more accessible to all, we waived all unpaid overdue fines and collection agency fees, and eliminated fines for all late returns moving forward

Public libraries are critical links in our communities and essential as we move forward in this troubling time. As a public service institution, it is our responsibility to be responsive to the needs of our community, to address inequities, and to provide a place of safety and inclusiveness. It is also our responsibility to provide resources and information to help individuals seek knowledge which can lead to greater understanding and compassion. To move towards change, we’ve compiled these staff picks lists and resources. We will continue to add resources in the coming weeks.

We know there is much more to do and we will work with our community to make improvements, and to encourage communication and deeper, compassionate understanding. 

Supporting Our Black Community

There are many ways we can support our Black community. If you don’t know where to start take a look at this list for all kinds of ideas to learn, support, and engage with our Black community.

Articles

For a quick start check out one of these online articles.

Staff Picks

Check out these Library staff picks lists for more in-depth reading:

Local Resources

  • Black Lives Matter Bloomington 
    This local chapter of Black Lives Matter includes an extensive resource list
     
  • Support Minority and Women-Owned Bloomington Businesses 
    A list of local businesses owned by women and minorities compiled by the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources
     
  • Learn about ways to support the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Black Males
    This commission promotes positive aspects and addresses concerns of our local Black male population
     
  • The City of Bloomington’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission 
    This commission plans activities and events in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday
     
  • Take a class or explore a campus partner of IU’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
    You can choose to take classes, participate in research, attend performances, and form friendships with others who share an abiding interest in the experiences of Black Americans and other people representing the African diaspora
     
  • Visit or donate to the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center 
    The NMBCC has an extensive history of supporting the IU’s efforts to challenge, support, and contribute to the continued development and success of the black students, faculty, and staff
     
  • Check out Bloomington’s own Bring It On! on WFHB
    "Bring It On!" is Indiana’s only weekly radio program committed to exploring the people, issues, and events impacting the African-American community

National

  • George Floyd Memorial Fund
    This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist our family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George.  A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.
     
  • National Black Lives Matter 
    The official #BlackLivesMatter Global Network builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe. The website includes toolkits for healing action, conflict resolution, and other educational resources. 
     
  • Campaign Zero
    We can live in a world where the police don't kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.

Social Justice Resources for Teens

History:
Current Issues:
What You Can Do:
Resources: