A Message from Library Director Lois Langer Thompson

Earlier this year, I participated in a work group with other library directors that resulted in the Urban Libraries Council Racial and Social Equity statement. During the council’s annual forum in St. Paul in October, Hennepin County Library signed on to the statement, along with 128 other major library systems.

Last month, the Library Board approved the statement and affirmed our Library’s commitment to equity and reducing disparities in Hennepin County. Every day, we work to serve the needs and interests of our patrons, and we are bringing renewed attention to the impact our policies and structures have on equity in our communities.

Signing on to this statement is one more commitment we are making to ensure that Hennepin County Library is inclusive and welcoming for all. Your library is here for you.

Lois Langer Thompson
Hennepin County Library Director

Urban Libraries Council Racial and Social Equity Statement

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.

More information about the Urban Libraries Council