The Free Library Stands Against Racism

By Siobhan Reardon RSS Wed, June 3, 2020

Dear Free Library community,

We are enraged and heartbroken. 

The murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police—and the senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, among many others—has once again revealed the anti-Black racism that continues to afflict our nation. Communities across the country, including our own, are in pain as we try to grapple with the brutal killings of unarmed Black Americans that underpin our history and contaminate our present.

The Free Library of Philadelphia is in the early stages of the institutional work that we must continue in order to confront structural racism, both inside our organization as well as in all of our public-facing and public-service efforts. We are reflecting, assessing, listening, and being deliberate about this work. We are intentional. And we know that the work to root out institutional racism must occur before we can realize the organizational changes and the necessary healing that the Free Library needs.

The Free Library of Philadelphia remains steadfast in our commitment to our users and our communities. We remain committed to being a library organization that is deliberate in its embrace of equity, committed to including all members of our community, and dedicated to making our organization as diverse as the city that we serve.

We will not accept hate, racism, or intolerance of any kind. We stand in solidarity with all of those in our community who are in pain and with those who are fighting for a future where racial equity is real; a future where equal treatment under the law is universal practice; and a future that affirms that Black Lives Matter.


Siobhan A. Riordan signature

Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

Leave this field empty

Add a Comment to The Free Library Stands Against Racism

Email is kept private and will not be displayed publicly
Comment must be less than 3000 characters
I share your outrage and sadness. Your email containing the above message has inspired me to donate to the Free Library in order to help, in at least a small way, your institution continue its valuable work.
EUGENE REED - Quakertown,PA
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Your words are appreciated. Perhaps other institutions serving ALL members of the human race will echo your sentiments. As a hugh fan of the library system I'm proud to see it take such an honorable stand against racism.
Dee Matthews - Philadelphia
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thank You for this and for all you do to serve the entire Philadelphia community!
Anne Reiser - New Jersey
Thursday, June 4, 2020

My 9yr old daughter enjoyed being part of the young readers summer book club last year. We read GHOST BOY which reflects the narrative of current protests. I particularly liked the view point provided by the murdered boy. We are creating a friend book club around that book for our daughters friend. My question is, will you have a book club this summer providing any books for pick up or mail out options for those who may sign up?
Anita Patel Shah - Philadelphia, Logan square
Monday, June 8, 2020

So when I return to work, my racist co-workers will stop harassing me on a daily basis. Every day at work I am challenged with dealing with bias attitudes from my co-worker who believe that they are far more superior then I am and that I am insignificant.
lillian belton - Philadelphia
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Anthony L. Ballard - Philadelphia
Monday, June 15, 2020