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ARL Voices Support for Baltimore Libraries during Civil Unrest

image CC-BY-NC by Yianni Mathioudakis

Following the April 19, 2015, death of Freddie Gray while in police custody in Baltimore, Maryland, ARL president Deborah Jakubs sent a letter on behalf of the Association to the directors of 14 Baltimore-area library systems. The letter communicates ARL’s solidarity with the libraries and applauds them for their engagement with their communities during the disruptions in the city, “reminding us all of the role of the library in society as a haven.” The full text of the letter, dated May 7, follows:

At last week’s Association of Research Libraries Membership Meeting, our members expressed their concerns about the events as they were unfolding in Baltimore. I write to express our support for your continuing engagement on behalf of all of your user communities. On behalf of the members of ARL, I want to commend your commitment to providing library services during this challenging time, reminding us all of the role of the library in society as a haven, a safe space, a place of contemplation and learning, especially in the most difficult of times. Your efforts on behalf of the people of Baltimore stand as a sign of what we all want for all of our communities and remind us all of the duty we have to continue to work together for the good of all.

The letter was sent to the following libraries:

  • Baltimore County Public Library
  • Community College of Baltimore County Library
  • Coppin State University, Parlett L. Moore Library
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library
  • Goucher College, Julia Rogers Library
  • Johns Hopkins University Libraries
  • Loyola University Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University, Loyola–Notre Dame Library
  • Morgan State University, Earl S. Richardson Library
  • St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Marion Burk Knott Library
  • Stevenson University Library
  • Towson University, Albert S. Cook Library
  • University of Baltimore, Langsdale Library
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human Services Library
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.