The Texas Digital Library stands against racism and with those working to end systemic injustices. We grieve the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others lost to racist and often police-inflicted violence, as well as the disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths within minoritized communities.
As we think about our own institutional responsibilities to our members, our staff, and our profession, TDL staff have been compiling resources on anti-racist work, particularly those relevant to libraries and archives. We hope that they will help us collectively find ways to interrogate and improve our practices that exclude and minimize Black and Brown communities and that perpetuate unjust systems. We recognize our own institutional shortcomings in this regard, and we want the Black and Brown workers in our member libraries to know that TDL sees you and strives to support you and amplify your voices.
We invite you to share additional resources with us so that we can share them back to our communities. This might include anti-racist work that your library or archives is doing or has done, or books and other media that you have found useful in your work or personal explorations.
Please share your resources, questions, and suggestions by emailing us at email@example.com.
Documenting the Now https://www.docnow.io/. From their site: “Documenting the Now responds to the public's use of social media for chronicling historically significant events as well as demand from scholars, students, and archivists, among others, seeking a user-friendly means of collecting and preserving this type of digital content. Documenting the Now has a strong commitment to prioritizing ethical practices when working with social media content, especially in terms of collection and long-term preservation. This commitment extends to Twitter's notion of honoring user intent and the rights of content creators. The project is a collaborative effort between Shift Design, Inc., the University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia. We are extremely grateful for funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”
Suggestions for white colleagues on how you can support your black colleagues and colleagues of color:
Acknowledge. You may not have the perfect words, but silence causes harm. Acknowledge what’s happening in the world and express care and compassion for your team and colleagues.
Don’t be defensive. Don’t mistake anger and outrage at systemic inequalities and injustices as personal attacks. Demonstrating compassion and empathy for the racist events and experiences of others without putting them in a position of needing to care for your feelings is essential.
Provide support. Be proactive and specific when offering support. Ask if someone might need time off or an extension of deadlines. Don’t make an employee come up with all the solutions; do some of the work in supporting them.
Safe spaces. Check in with individuals in a way where their response to you is optional and on their own terms (maybe email or chat instead of face-to-face). These events impact people differently based on identities and experiences and we need to be conscientious about singling people out in a way that feels unsafe or put on the spot.
Talk less. White voices and perspectives take up a lot of space. If people are sharing, that’s great, you can share too, but focus more on listening and empathizing.