Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Takes Center Stage at New Jersey’s Libraries

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Takes Center Stage at New Jersey's Libraries

Bordentown/Trenton, NJ, February 1, 2022. A collaborative framework for addressing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in New Jersey's libraries, was announced today, by the leadership of the New Jersey State Library, the New Jersey Library Association, and LibraryLinkNJ-The New Jersey Library Cooperative. The impetus for this collaborative is a commitment to action towards achieving a New Jersey library community that demonstrates the values of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). This collaboration is the first of its kind among the three organizations. The framework for the EDI Collaborative for New Jersey's Libraries is attached to this press release.

“We are eager to begin the action steps on this very important work,” said Dr. Juliet Machie, Executive Director of the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA). “I applaud the NJLA Executive Board for encouraging us to move forward in this direction. I am hopeful that this new initiative will grow and foster cultures of equity, diversity and inclusion, as a fabric of who we are in the New Jersey library community.”

“Our organization is fully committed to this partnership that examines and addresses the EDI issues that confront the New Jersey library community,” said Ralph S. Bingham III, Executive Director of LibraryLinkNJ. “We are looking forward to working closely with our colleagues from all types of libraries, as we take action to grow and sustain a culture of EDI within New Jersey's library workforce.”

“Our state's libraries have a role to play in dismantling the systemic and structural racism,” said Jen Nelson, State Librarian at the New Jersey State Library. “Over the years we've learned it is not enough to have good intentions, but to actively work toward the elimination of harmful policies and practices,” she notes. Nelson also acknowledges that “the first step on the EDI journey is to reflect on our own beliefs and understand the impact of what we see.”

The next steps for the EDI Collaborative for New Jersey's Libraries include: robust town hall conversations within the New Jersey library community, institutional and individual EDI assessments, and community engagement through a One Book New Jersey program, focused on EDI issues.

A kickoff EDI Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 3 p.m.

For additional information, please contact [email protected]

Download this press release (PDF)