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University of Florida Dean of Libraries Judith Russell’s Message to Staff, November 2016

Judith Russell, dean of University Libraries at University of Florida, sent the e-mail message below to all library staff on November 20, 2016. 

From: Judith C. Russell 
To: All University of Florida Libraries Staff
Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2016, 5:12 AM
Subject: Fwd: President Fuchs’ Column in the Independent Florida Alligator

I wanted to reiterate President Fuchs’ recent comments in the Alligator, and ask that each of you think about the Libraries’ special, invaluable role in achieving the aspirations he puts forth.

In reflecting on this, I was reminded of the Core Values of Librarianship as expressed by ALA, which include:

  • A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry. The First Amendment mandates the right of all persons to free expression, and the corollary right to receive the constitutionally protected expression of others.
  • We value our nation’s diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve.
  • The broad social responsibilities of the American Library Association are defined in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society; support for efforts to help inform and educate the people of the United States on these problems and to encourage them to examine the many views on and the facts regarding each problem.

I am sure there are other perspectives on our work and contributions that might occur to you, and I encourage you to think about them and incorporate them into your work and the work of your units and the libraries as a whole, so we can continue to be both a safe and comfortable place to work and a space where our students, faculty and other visitors feel welcome and supported.

As President Fuchs said, this has been in many ways an awful year. However, it has also been a year with many personal and organizational accomplishments in the Libraries. This not only makes me grateful, it also makes confident about our capacity to make our own much needed contributions to the University, our community, and society.

I wish you and your friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving, and I thank each of you for all you do each day to make the Libraries a good place to work and a major asset to those who rely on our collections and services.


Judith C. Russell
Dean of University Libraries

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