Reading, MA — In response to continued violence and hate against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the Reading Public Library Board of Library Trustees adopted the following statement at their April 12, 2021 meeting.
AAPI STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY
The Board of Library Trustees and Reading Public Library staff stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in recognizing and condemning anti-Asian hate crimes.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shocking escalation of hate crimes targeting AAPI communities. The recent murders and attacks on AAPI community members are horrific and frightening, and they are not isolated events. We acknowledge the long history of anti-Asian hate, harm, and violence in the United States. Such historic and contemporary attitudes, behaviors, and structural systems undermine our society and damage the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The prevalence of disinformation, discrimination, xenophobia, and bigotry in our society compounds the harm.
As such, the Board of Library Trustees and the Reading Public Library reaffirm our mission of providing a place and platform of, by, and for the people that serves as a center and resource in the stand against racism and in working towards a more equitable and just society.
We commit to supporting our patrons, staff, other town departments, non-profits, and local businesses in our collective efforts to foster and support a Reading culture that promotes and celebrates diversity and our shared humanity.
Library Director Amy Lannon thanked the Trustees on behalf of the library staff and AAPI community members. “We know that the library’s work and service is only one part of Reading’s overall commitment to being a welcoming and safe community,” she noted. “Whether we call them patrons or employees, people who are our friends, neighbors, and family need to know that library leaders, including myself, support and are here for them.”
The library continues to provide curated resources addressing current challenges to our community and nation. With age-appropriate booklists on racial equity and helpful resources on “Navigating the News,” this information may be found on the Reading Public Library website under “Parenting Resources on Tough Topics.” We welcome the community’s feedback and suggestions as we continue our mission.