CW MARS stands in support of racial justice and racial equity . We believe that Black Lives Matter and we condemn all forms of systemic racism and discrimination.
We join the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) incondemning violence and racism towards Black Americans, indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC).
As an organization, we embrace the core values of equity, diversity and access and we pledge to take the following actions:
- Encourage all of our libraries to eliminate overdue fines which present an economic barrier to the access of library materials and services.
- Host monthly conversations around race and racial justice.
- Educate and train our staff on equity, diversity and inclusion.
- Understand and examine implicit and racial bias.
- Review existing network policies for any bias and encourage member libraries to do the same.
- Review our hiring and recruiting practices to attract a more diverse workforce.
- Update policies to encourage BIPOC representation on committees.
- Highlight materials in our collections to promote Black authors and antiracism.
- Work with state, federal and local agencies and vendors to improve library broadband speeds across the consortium and keep costs affordable for member libraries to best support their communities .
We commit to work together to eliminate racism and build stronger, safer and more connected communities.
Jeanette Lundgren, CW MARS Executive Director
Betsy Perry, President CW MARS Executive Committee & Director of the Sutton Free Public Library
Together with the CW MARS Executive Committee
Alex Reczkowski, Director Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield
Brittany McDougal, Director Oxford Free Public Library
Hope Bodwell, Director Monson Free Library & Reading Room Assoc.
Jean Maziarz, Director Richard Salter Storrs Library, Longmeadow
Jean Shaughnessy, Director Athol Public Library
Jennifer Bruneau, Director Boylston Public Library
Jess Mynes, Director LaChance Library, Mount Wachusett Community College
Marie Letarte, Director Bigelow Free Public Library, Clinton
Nancy Siegel, Director Agawam Public Library
Sheila McCormick, Director Clapp Memorial Library, Belchertown