UK Libraries’ Commitment to Equity

The University of Kentucky Libraries stands with the University of Kentucky in recognizing the reprehensible continued acts of violence against Black Americans in our country. We denounce the brutality that has led to the horrific murders of George Floyd, former UK student Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. We see and acknowledge the challenges and injustices experienced by Black Americans in many communities and places of work. Silence and inaction only serve to perpetuate systemic racism, oppression, and white supremacy in our country. We must, by our words and deeds, be proactive in bringing an end to the anguish long suffered by members of the Black community. UK Libraries stands united with all people who abhor these injustices.

Libraries exist to provide equitable access to resources, spaces, and services. We have the responsibility of not only preserving and providing access to information in all its forms, but in providing and participating in continuous learning. These responsibilities demand that difficult questions be asked of ourselves and others, and that we take action as we learn together. UK Libraries recognizes that people of color and all marginalized communities on a daily basis face microaggressions, implicit biases, threats of violence, and health and economic inequities. Together with our colleagues and community, UK Libraries is committed to addressing racial inequality. 

  • We are committed to interrogating our current practices and to continually assessing our operations in order to root out systems that implicitly and explicitly perpetuate inequity
  • We are committed to increasing diversity in our libraries and the library profession
  • We are committed to more actively documenting, preserving, and providing equitable access to the stories and scholarship of marginalized people who have suffered and endured hardships due to racism
  • We are committed to creating inclusive spaces where people of color and marginalized communities feel welcome and safe
  • We are committed to providing ongoing training for members of our community
  • We are committed to recognizing and ameliorating microaggressions, implicit biases, and violence directed against people of color and marginalized communities

The University of Kentucky Libraries takes seriously the responsibility to ask questions, listen to the answers, and amplify the voices of others in this vital conversation. 

Doug Way, Dean of Libraries

Melissa Barlow, Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Jen Bartlett, Interim Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Research

Rick Brewer, Director, Medical Center Library

Deirdre Scaggs, Associate Dean for Special Collections 

Mary Beth Thomson, Senior Associate Dean for Collections, Digital Scholarship, and Technical Services

Jen Martin & Troy Martin, UK Libraries Diversity Officers

Ruth Bryan, UK Libraries Faculty Council Chair

Jen Martin, UK Libraries Staff Advisory Council Chair

UK Libraries EDI Committee

*Sincere thanks to Elaine L. Westbrook, Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, whose message to her campus served as inspiration and guidance for portions of this message.

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HOURS for September 28, 2020