Our Statement Opposing Violence Against Asians and Asian Americans
The Burlingame Library Equity Team would like to acknowledge the recent spate of attacks on Asian American elders in the country – many in the Bay Area – and offer resources for understanding and support to the community.
Our city is named after the reformer and diplomat Anson Burlingame who negotiated the first American treaty with China, which recognized the equal status of both nations in 1868. This treaty provided protections for Chinese citizens traveling and residing in the United States. As Mark Twain wrote in Burlingame’s obituary, “For he had outgrown the narrow citizenship of a state and become a citizen of the world; and this charity was large enough and his great heart warm enough to feel for all its races and to labor for them.” Let us support our own Asian American friends and neighbors with the same great heart.
Our Black Lives Matter Statement
To Our Community,
As part of our work with the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, the Burlingame Public Library Equity Team is committed to achieving racial equity. During this time of crisis, we reaffirm our vow to stand with the racial justice movement and work toward creating an equitable future through the use of media, advocacy, training, research, policy, and narrative.
We stand together against racism and injustice. We believe Black lives matter. We grieve with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and others before them, and we reaffirm our mission to fight ignorance, strengthen our communities, and stand against all forms of dehumanization. As our great Poet Laureate Maya Angelou wrote, "Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet."
You can find the full statement w/ resources in our June 5, 2020 Newsletter.
Our Work So Far
In May 2018, the Burlingame Public Library, along with other libraries of the Pacific Library Partnership, signed the Urban Libraries Council’s Statement of Racial and Social Equity. https://www.urbanlibraries.org/initiatives/statement-on-race-and-social-equity
As leaders of North America’s public libraries, we are committed to achieving racial and social equity by contributing to a more just society in which all community members can realize their full potential. Our libraries can help achieve true and sustained equity through an intentional, systemic and transformative library-community partnership. Our library systems are working to achieve equity in the communities we serve by:
- Eliminating racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices
- Creating and maintaining an environment of diversity, inclusion and respect both in our library systems and in all aspects of our community role
- Ensuring that we are reaching and engaging disenfranchised people in the community and helping them express their voice
- Serving as a convener and facilitator of conversations and partnerships to address community challenges
- Being forthright on tough issues that are important to our communities
Libraries are trusted, venerable and enduring institutions, central to their communities and an essential participant in the movement for racial and social equity.
In response to the statement, the Library’s Equity Team was formed later that year. Its directive: to look at collections, policy, programs, workforce, and procedures with a racial equity lens. The team members consist of library employees spanning all levels of the organization.
Participation in California Libraries CREI Grant Program
The committee applied for and was accepted into the California CREI (Cultivating Race, Equity, and Inclusion) grant program for 2019-2020. With cohorts in Southern California and Northern California, five core members attended trainings run by Gordon Goodwin, Director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), to assess and work on applying racial equity tools to our library and community, with a goal to create a racial equity plan for the library to implement.
Burlingame Library Racial Equity & Social Justice booklist:
Listen or Watch
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man: Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.
Trainings and Toolkits
Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
Never Again Action
Celebrating Diverse Voices BPL Picture Book Recommendations List:
Coretta Scott King Book Awards:
Multi-Cultural BPL Chapter Book Recommendations List:
Social Justice Books (As recommended on the Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism):
Social Justice - Teen Reads:
10 Books to Nurture Budding Young Activists:
We Need Diverse Books:
Listen or Watch
Library of Congress National Book Festival Presents: Race in America
Sesame Street Town Hall on Racism:
Tutu Teacher: Let’s Talk About Race
What is Black?: A podcast that focuses on issues important to raising healthy and thriving Black children and adolescents. The biweekly podcast is hosted by Dr. Jacqueline Douge a pediatrician and mom of color.
Training and Toolkits
National Education Association EdJustice Resources