Library Director's Statement on Racism and Violence

The Bentley Library supports the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand in solidarity with Black students, faculty, staff and Provost Donna Maria Blancero in condemning all acts of racial discrimination and violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Color.

We have witnessed in horror the violent, unjust and inhumane acts of racism in our communities for too long. For those of us who lived during the Civil Rights Movement, we fought and hoped that the Civil Rights Act of 1964* would end discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. We thought that this Act would put an end to police brutality and murder of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. But it has not. There is so much work to be done to create real and sustained change. 

Today, we hear the cries for justice over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless Black Americans who have died at the hands of police. In the face of a world on fire, libraries all over the country have responded by providing a safe and welcoming space for civic discourse. The Bentley Library is dedicated to broadening the understanding of racial injustice through the acquisition and access of racial justice resources. We promise to invite the expression of BIPOC voices into the library through collaborative programs and discussions. 

The Bentley Library stands with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and the Boston Library Consortium Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Community of Practice, to support and develop programming that create inclusive and diverse library workplaces and initiatives. The Bentley Library will continue to work in close collaboration with Bentley Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center, the Task Force on Racial Justice, Bentley student groups, and others to support the Black Lives Matter movement on our campus.

We are here and we are listening. Let’s continue the conversation.

Hope Houston
Bentley Library Director

*The Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2020 that the LGBTQ community is a protected group under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Libraries in the time of COVID-19

Image courtesy of St. Charles Public Library, Charles, IL

Libraries across America are caring for their patrons in so many ways. We are still very much a part of teaching, learning, scholarship and service during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are just doing it remotely. Bentley librarians are providing research instruction to classes through Zoom, answering reference questions via chat, email and text services, and having virtual meetings with students and faculty. Staff are scanning book chapters and articles to put in Blackboard course sites, purchasing streaming films, and continuing to order journal articles through interlibrary loan. Our technical services department staff continue to catalog and process electronic books, communicate with vendors, pay invoices, and order print materials. We are doing what libraries have always done in times of crisis … adapting.

Bentley library staff are here to support you and continue to provide you with the best service. As Ramiro Salazar, president of the Public Library Association said, “We cannot create a sense of normalcy for [library users], but [libraries] can use this new reality to offer something different.” Bentley Library is proud to be doing just that.