Penn State University Libraries holds a unique position in the Penn State community, residing at the nexus of intellectual discovery, teaching and learning, and research. The University Libraries seeks to connect the Penn State community and citizens of Pennsylvania to the world of knowledge and new ideas. Its foundational values speak to supporting equity of access, diversity and inclusion, ethics and integrity, and empathy. These values stand in direct opposition to systemic racism, white supremacy, and all forms of discrimination. As Libraries faculty, we are committed to using our privilege to speak out against these issues.
Awareness precedes change. Structural and institutional barriers based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, ability, age, immigration status, and other differences obstruct change. We are committed to identifying and removing these barriers within our organization.
The Library Faculty Organization (LFO) endorses the resolution below as a first step toward the action of addressing and dismantling the systems of oppression. We acknowledge that this is one small step in a larger call to action and a commitment to no longer being silent.
Although the LFO has the power and the capacity to speak out on this issue, it does not have the authority or ability to speak for the entire Libraries at Penn State. Thus, we also urge the adoption of a Libraries-wide resolution and action plan so that all Libraries’ employees are given the opportunity to support this resolution, engage in broader discussions, and take action.
As Penn State University Libraries faculty members, we support this original resolution draft by Michael A. Mogill, Chair of the Dickinson Law Faculty, which was adopted by the unanimous vote of the Penn State Dickinson Law faculty on June 2, 2020.
WHEREAS, we recognize the ongoing, systemic, and perpetual racial and societal injustices in this country, which have been passed on from generation to generation; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that these injustices have existed since the original sin of slavery and been furthered by Jim Crow laws and the unequal treatment of Black Americans in our social, judicial, and educational systems; and
WHEREAS, we especially note and are appalled by the numerous killings that have been committed against Black Americans under the color of law; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the lack of accountability for these injustices; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the senseless brutality being committed by those employed to serve and protect who are operating under a pattern, practice, and culture fostering unequal treatment; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the need to have uncomfortable talks and real, honest, and transparent conversations directed towards addressing these injustices through action; and
WHEREAS, we recognize and feel the sadness, anger, outrage, frustration, pain, and grieving caused by extrajudicial killings; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the need to understand how so many feel helpless, frustrated, invisible, and disillusioned, resulting in constant fears for their personal safety and leading to bearing psychological and emotional scars; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that racism is an incessant malady and a scourge to an otherwise organized, civilized society; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that systemic discrimination and unjust racial inequities continue to appall and to plague our nation and our schools; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that we should not accept apathy, indifference, or silence to such ongoing violence and inequities, which otherwise allows hatred, prejudice, and intolerance to fester and grow; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the need to engage in peaceful protest, constructive acts, and educational opportunities to make a meaningful difference towards societal change; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that we have an obligation to fight ignorance and intolerance, model inclusivity, and embrace our differences and the power that diversity represents; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that the education system has perpetuated racial and societal injustices, racism, and unequal treatment of Black Americans; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the need to stand with our Black brothers and sisters as effective allies; and
WHEREAS, we recognize the need to stand in ongoing support of our students, staff, fellow faculty, and their families who are persons of color.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we acknowledge that racism is an affliction that we must never enable but as active antiracists, should take responsibility to condemn and to end, that we need to identify and challenge systemic prejudice wherever it exists, that we are all accountable for doing the work necessary for policy changes that dismantle structural systems of oppression that perpetuate racial inequities in our society and institutions, that we will strive to be better listeners and supporters of those who are the victims of racism, that we will never rest until every American feels safe, free, and accepted in our country, and that we will continuously abide by the goal of providing equitable educational opportunities for all people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this resolution be preserved in the records and minutes of the Library Faculty Organization and displayed on the Library Faculty Organization website.
Adopted this 6th day of July, 2020, by vote of the Library Faculty Organization.
 This resolution was adapted from the original resolution draft by Michael A. Mogill, Chair of the Dickinson Law Faculty, which was adopted by the unanimous vote of the Penn State Dickinson Law faculty on June 2, 2020.