The Oberlin Group of Libraries condemns systemic racism and violence and affirms our commitment to continuous anti-racist work across our libraries and institutions (June 3, 2020)

The Oberlin Group, a national consortium of libraries at liberal arts colleges, stands with people of conscience across the country as we condemn all violence against Black people and People of Color. When one human life is mistreated, we are all diminished. Recent incidents are indicative of deep and systemic patterns of racism and oppression. We further condemn the violence of structural racism evinced in the disproportionate number of deaths and deleterious health and economic impacts People of Color are facing in the current COVID pandemic. We also reject any racist or xenophobic narratives that situate the root cause of the pandemic with Asians or Asian/Pacific Americans.

The Oberlin Group is committed to the values and intentional practices of enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively challenging systems of oppression. To this end, as national library leaders, we commit to this consistent anti-racist work:

  • Developing our cultural competence and anti-racist practices to help the Oberlin Group deliver on its mission for equitable and inclusive excellence, leveraging diversity as a strategic strength and asset.
  • Collaborating across member libraries to develop equitable and inclusive services, spaces, collections, resources, and programming to better serve our diverse campuses and to amplify the voices and histories of People of Color who have always been integral to building our institutions. 
  • Partnering within the Oberlin Group and with other national library organizations to create cross-institutional career exploration and advancement structures for underrepresented groups in academic libraries.
  • Working together across institutions to ensure that our liberal arts college library organizations are structured around diversity as a strategic asset to be developed and nurtured.
  • Intentionally examining how our libraries recruit employees and what we choose to elevate and highlight in recruiting and retaining colleagues.

We pledge to continue our daily work - what colleagues at the Race Matters Institute call “urgent, lifelong work” - to combat racism and to create just and peaceful environments that enable deep collaboration, learning, and creation of new knowledge.

-Board of Directors, The Oberlin Group of Libraries

The Oberlin Group is a consortium of libraries at 80 leading liberal arts colleges in the United States. Its mission is to advocate for the role of libraries in transforming teaching, learning, and research, and anticipate and address evolving challenges and opportunities in support of liberal arts institutions. For more information, visit https://www.oberlingroup.org/.