Since the catastrophic event at Pulse in Orlando, we have witnessed beautiful tributes to victims and survivors through news and social media. We have also seen unfortunate support for hatred, judgement, and exclusiveness. It is difficult to navigate such emotions. And it is even more difficult to express the profound sadness I’ve felt during this tumultuous time.
I’m writing to you to unite our voices and ignite our efforts as Utah Librarians. Day by day, we experience opportunities to do better for the people we have the privilege to serve. It truly is a privilege. We are fortunate to work in a field that not only experiences diversity, but also values it. However, it is not enough that our library buildings exist as institutions open to all. Our buildings are merely structures. You create the humanity in your library. It is a Librarian who radiates inclusiveness. It is a Librarian who sets an example for someone who lacks courage to accept another. It is the Librarian who values each individual and their story. It is a Librarian who uses only one label for every person – important.
My friends, I believe libraries are the center of our communities only because you have your community members at the center of your heart. Now, it is our opportunity to act. Please join with me. Renew your dedication to inclusion. Start and continue conversations about inclusiveness with your team members. Enhance your daily interactions with every individual knowing they have a unique and important story. Use every opportunity to demonstrate humanity and kindness along with great information.
Our community members deserve our voices and our courage. Let us do this for them, for each other, and for ourselves.
Jami Munk Carter
Utah Library Association