Open Letter in Support of the Douglas County Public Library

The below letter was approved by the NMA board and sent to the Chair of the Douglas County Public Library Board of Trustees.

September 01, 2020

Douglas County
Attn: Chair of the Douglas County Public Library Board of Trustees
1594 Esmeralda Av.
Minden, NV 89423

Dear Douglas County Public Library Board of Trustees:

The fundamental role of public spaces like libraries and museums is to provide safe and welcoming spaces to their community. Libraries and museums do not and will not achieve this goal until Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)’s safety and well- being are explicitly considered in policy and procedure, management practices, and public-facing operations of these establishments.

The Nevada Museums Association adamantly supports the Diversity Statement proposed by the Douglas County Public Library, as reported in the KIRO7 Seattle news article published July 29, 2020. The statement as reported is not an overtly political statement, but rather an affirmation to provide high-quality mission-based programming to all members of the Douglas County community. “The Douglas County Public Library denounces all acts of violence, racism, and disregard for human rights. We support #BlackLivesMatter. We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality and injustice don’t belong in our society.

Regardless of anyone’s stance on the current protests, political climate, or even the presence of an unprecedented pandemic, all people deserve the right to not be discriminated against on the basis of color, race, religion, sex, gender, or any other protected status.

The issuance of a diversity statement, or a welcome for all BIPOC, is not a protest, but a stance supporting conversation and inclusion. County libraries are safe places for members of the public, however, without an acknowledgement of diversity and inclusion, libraries will not be safe for anyone.

Sincerely,

The Nevada Museums Association Executive Committee

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