Dear Library Community,
I am so pleased to have this opportunity to introduce myself to you and to serve the residents of Contra Costa County in this new role. During these unusual and unprecedented times, I will be focusing my energy on working to provide the most needed and desired library services in a way that is as safe as possible for both the public and library staff. To that end, we are adhering to the State's guidelines and working closely with our city partners, as well as the County's public works department, to prepare our facilities to reopen with a limited number of the public inside. There is a lot to coordinate, and the process will take time. Please be patient with us as we move through each step. Safety is our priority.
I am also happy to announce that over the next two years, Library staff will all be taking part in a new training initiative focused on issues about race. The trainings will be led by Dr. Lori Watson of Race-Work. When asked to describe the training she says, “When it comes to dealing with issues about race, many organizations focus on guidelines, and policies that will “fix” the problem of racism within their existing structures and cultures. That work often proves futile. Organizations must disrupt the structural racism that is entrenched not only in its history, policies and culture, but in the mindsets and practices of individuals as well. This requires focused attention on personal, professional, and organizational racial equity transformation.” The training initiative was spearheaded and suggested by the Library's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is an important step in furthering the Library's goal of equitable access for all and in becoming an anti-racist institution.
I look forward to tackling the challenges facing the Library over the next several months and I will include available updates in the monthly newsletter as things progress.
Interim County Librarian