UPDATE JUNE 19: PPL To Go is up and running! Place a hold. Wait for your pickup notice. Then make an appointment to pick it up. We look forward to seeing you! Our COVID-19 information page continues to have links to current health information in multiple languages. Reference will be answering questions Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm, 871-1700 x725. If you would like to open a temporary eResource library card, please email us at email@example.com
Poet Danez Smith sings out poems of love and intimacy in their 2020 collection Homie. In the poem “my president” they affirm all those who are their people, supporting their mama for president and their grandma for president and trans girls for president and teachers and birds and neighbors who hold the door open for them when their arms are full of laundry and the dude at the pizza spot and the children who they’d elect too, like “jonathan, eleven /…blog writer, young genius, community activist, curls tight / as pinky swears, black as my nation i trust the world in his tender / blooming hands, i trust him to tell us which rivers are safe to drink / & which hold fish like a promise.”
There’s a whole Danez Smith world in this book, a world’s expanse of observation and feeling, life and motion, elegy and ode, and the nation they create in these verses is for their beloved friends, their fam. They call their loves. The morning is a soft shawl. Texts arrive at just the right time. Trees are slow green explosions. Their anthem is mighty.
The Portland Public Library stands in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and those who are working to build systemic change to address racial inequities that demand our attention — as a country, society, and city.
We condemn the recent racist acts against Black people and ongoing racism against all people of color. Hate and violence do not represent our core values and have no place in our community. PPL has taken actions to build equity and understanding in their place by:
Creating a dynamic space where all in the community are welcome to pursue their interests and growth
Fostering civic-mindedness and engagement through programming, exhibits, and voter initiatives
Promoting stories and resources about systemic racism and social equity barriers to build understanding
Ensuring access to diverse collections for all ages to help families talk about race, respect, and self-respect
Libraries are unique spaces where we can come together and work to level the playing field so that we are safe and welcoming for all and to ensure respect, to build understanding, and to help create solutions for our community’s greatest needs. At the same time, we at PPL know that we still have work to do to ensure that our own policies, practices, and systems ensure equity. We encourage others who want to learn and grow with us in efforts to eliminate institutional and social racism at all levels.
Today, I am sharing again the commitment PPL made in September 2017, in association with a group of 163 leading urban public libraries:
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.
We are proud today to stand with our neighbors, the American Library Association, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and the Urban Libraries Council in once again condemning social injustice and racism in all its forms and building better solutions.
Sarah Campbell Peter Richardson
Executive Director President, Board of Trustees
What gems can be found in virtual stacks around the world, still open for us to dive into and explore? The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections are a treasure-trove for research and learning and sometimes sheer wonder, with many items in the public domain to share. These beautiful sketchbooks (of artist Kondo, Ariyoshi, active ca. 1826-1840) remind us of spring, summer, and stirring life. Here are pages brimming with blossoms, branches and leaves, outstretched wings and the feet of birds, shells and fruit and fish…
P.S. If you love nature and art and eBooks, there are some gems to discover in cloudLibrary too. Thanks for reading!