The Clark Library stands proudly within a community that, like most neighborhoods in Los Angeles, is made up of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. This community has recently seen rapid changes that emphasize long-standing inequalities for marginalized communities. As librarians, our duty is to make sure there is room for everyone.
The Clark’s mission to preserve and share the cultural record means supporting, too, the work of reflecting upon, learning and moving forward from the histories of oppression, injustice and inequity that our collections both represent and document. It also means creating space in the cultural record for new voices, including those obscured, under-told, or excluded from our library in the past. And it means being cognizant of the agency that collecting gives us over the historical record, and of how to use that agency proactively in the discourse of what has value and how that value is defined. While we are closed and cannot do this work in person, we will amplify these voices on our digital platforms, and listen to and learn from them.
“We must reflect on the brutal history that got us to this point – and where we go from here. We must examine our own biases and find a way to eliminate the systemic racial inequities that pervade our country in order to effect real and lasting change.” —UC President Janet Napolitano [read entire statement here]