The Lebanon Public Libraries Board of Trustees want to affirm our support for our library personnel and their efforts to serve our diverse population. Public libraries are currently under frequent scrutiny. They are more often being questioned and confronted about their collections, programs, and services. Increasingly, criticisms have risen to the level of hateful speech, threatening actions, and attacks on library collections.
Through its Mission and policy statements, our library expresses its commitment to engaging with all segments of the community. Its collections and public programs strive to be relevant and responsive to a spectrum of opinions and ideas. And as a source of information and knowledge it seeks to benefit people of different ages, races and ethnicity, socio-economic and educational backgrounds, and personal identities.
In the past the programming of a Drag Story Hour exemplified the library’s efforts at outreach, diversity, and inclusiveness. The reactions to that program, both for and against, illustrated the risks and rewards of those efforts. They also showed the importance of the library as a place for exposing people to new and different ideas and experiences that may reaffirm or challenge existing beliefs. We affirm the library’s commitment to marginalized groups in our community. We are in full agreement with the library’s direction and aspirations in fulfilling its role within the social and intellectual fabric of our community.
We condemn any acts of hateful speech and affirm that the board of trustees will stand with the staff of the library as they continue to create a respectful and inclusive library. We are highly committed to maintaining a safe and respectful environment for staff, patrons and volunteers.
Approved by the Trustees May 23, 2023