Published: June 4, 2020

Dear University Libraries community,

Dean of University Libraries Robert H. McDonald Recent protests in American cities, including here in Colorado, have underscored the deep-rooted racism in our nation. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are horrifying recent examples of the systemic, widespread violence against Black people in this country. This entire crisis weighs heavily on my heart. I know that many of these frustrations we see are not new but have hit an inflection point. We must respond.

As we work together to help each other through this current crisis, it is important that we come together as a community to continue these difficult conversations on race, equity and inclusion. We must stand together as a library community if we are to stand together as a campus and a nation in order to spark change for our local and national communities. 

For all of us who feel anger, despair or hopelessness, I want you to know that we support you and are pursuing justice alongside you. Together, our libraries are building a community of respect and an inclusive environment that affirms our values of inclusion, empowerment, connection, learning and inspiration. Like many of you, I am grieving what is happening in our country. I ask us to commit to working together to create change for our communities. 

As we look towards the fall semester, I ask us all to approach these issues first as humans and then as library professionals. Let us work together to foster change to achieve freedom, equality and a just society. I am including below several resources I have found helpful.

  1. Racial Equity Tools Glossary
  2. What Matters, Black Lives Matter documentary series            
  3. How to Be an Antiracist, podcast with Ibram X. Kendi and Brené Brown 
  4. Halley, C. (2020, May 31). Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus. JSTOR Daily.
  5. From the Chancellor—Combatting Racism Together


With all respect, 

Robert H. McDonald
Dean of University Libraries
Sr. Vice Provost for Online Education