Dear Readers,

The recent killing of George Floyd, among other killings and systemic injustices experienced by black Americans and people of color, has horrified and disturbed communities across our country – including our own. In the wake of this tragedy, people across the country and in our community are speaking out, assembling, and sending the message that racism and hate are unacceptable in our institutions and communities.

As a First Amendment institution, the Barrington Area Library stands with those who choose to exercise their Constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech. Freedom of speech includes the right to read, view, listen to, create, and access information free from censorship and this right underpins our work as library professionals. The First Amendment also guarantees the right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for a redress of grievances. It is a necessary civic duty to exercise these rights and the Barrington Area Library is here to support all residents in that endeavor.

As an institution dedicated to serving all members of our community, the Barrington Area Library also stands with those working to end systemic racism, inequality, and other barriers that limit opportunity and potential within our community.

Restoring our community in the face of ongoing injustice and a global pandemic is difficult work. Each of us, including the Library, has a responsibility to help build an engaged and inclusive community.

Whether you choose to learn more about the history of racism and discrimination in our country:
• The DuSable Museum of African-American History, Chicago
• African American History Online: A Resource Guide - Library of Congress
• African American Heritage: National Archives

hear from anti-racist voices:
• Anti-Racist Reading List (BALibrary e-books)
• Social & Systemic Injustice Video Playlist - Kanopy
• New York Times Anti-Racist Reading List by Ibram X. Kendi

contact your legislators:
How To Contact Your Elected Officials
How To Start a petition

document this moment in history for future generations: email our Local History Librarian Kate Mills

learn from the experiences of other people (including a program this Sunday, June 7, After The Rally: What Next?), or use our parking lot when attending the peaceful protest in Citizens Park on Saturday, June 6 – know that your Library is here to help.

Thank you for reading.
Jesse Henning
Executive Director
Barrington Area Library