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Equity and Inclusion

We are working on increasing equity in our library services, and we want to hear from you. We have solicited input from our staff, and formed an Equitability Task Force to take action to better serve Black people, people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, persons with disabilities, persons experiencing poverty and homelessness, and other groups who may face barriers to library access. We formed a committee to address the unique challenges of our community’s new immigrants and English language learners. We plan to build in questions of equity into our planning processes for outreach to Black Henricoans, communities of color, non-English speakers, and other community groups. Please know that we are doing research into this ourselves, and do not expect our Black patrons, our patrons of color, or persons belonging to any oppressed or marginalized group to do this work for us. We are librarians, we are dedicated to learning and to public service, and we are taking action.

Our Values

We believe the library can be a space for joy and fulfillment. All are welcome here, to learn, convene, collaborate, accomplish, and grow. Because libraries provide resources for individual exploration and community exchange, we believe the library can be a space for healing, where people come together, expand their consciousness, and transcend their pain. Learning and the intellect are fundamental to human life, and community life. We believe the library can be a transformative space.

Equity and Inclusion Initiatives at HCPL

We are committed to building equity at HCPL for the long term. Please check back to this page as we continue our work. We will add information about specific library services and resources that are added and augmented as we build equity at HCPL. If you wish to share your ideas, please contact Angie Bennett (abennett@henricolibrary.org) and Patty Conway (pconway@henricolibrary.org) with your questions, concerns, and suggestions about equitability of library services.

Future Goals

  • Community Conversation program
  • Computer access cards
  • Diversity Audit of HCPL collection
  • Staff training on bias and microaggressions
  • Library Services Plan

2020

  • Spanish-language webpage
  • Equitability Task Force formed June 2020 to fast-track system-wide equity initiatives on administrative and policy levels
  • IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) committee formed June 2020 to increase equity and inclusion in public programming
  • Multilingual Translations of library welcome materials made available to all locations July/August 2020

2019

  • PLA Inclusive Internship Initiative Summer 2019
  • Hiring notices placed with ALA Black Caucus and at HBCUs
  • First LGBTQIA+ Book Discussion Group
  • First Multilingual Storytime at Tuckahoe Library

2018

  • All Henrico Reads with Reyna Grande; community conversation about the immigrant experience in Henrico, April-May 2018
  • Diversity and Inclusion Staff Development training with Jonathan Zur of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities October 2018
  • Homeward training for staff to assist people experiencing homelessness
  • First Bilingual Storytime at Libbie Mill Library
  • Autism 101 staff training with the Faison Center
  • Youth Services staff training with Side by Side
  • Sensory Storytimes for children on the Autism Spectrum available in Eastern and Western Henrico

2017

  • Fairfield Library community engagement and outreach for planning and design, 2017-2019
  • NASA @ My Library initiative to bring STEM education to libraries serving populations underrepresented in STEM career fields, 2017‑2019
  • Formation of HCPL Outreach Department
  • Mental Health First Aid Training
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