PGPL Statement on Anti-Racism

Phase 3 of the library's Reopening Plan has now been launched. Due to COVID-19, the Bob Harkins Branch (downtown) is open for limited service Tuesday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-2 pm. The Nechako Branch (Hart) is open Monday-Friday 10 am-6pm.

Anti-racism is the practice of identifying, challenging, preventing, eliminating, and changing the values, structures, policies, programs, practices, and behaviours that perpetuate racism. Many people think racism is not a problem in multicultural Canada, but racism exists in many places, including British Columbia and Prince George. Racism can take many forms and is often implicit in our attitudes, behaviours, beliefs, and values.

The Prince George Public Library draws strength from the diverse communities in Prince George and the surrounding region and celebrates the many people we serve. The Library board and staff seek to address the ongoing issue of systemic racism in all forms, while working with our community members to build a strong, inclusive society. We are committed to developing library facilities, collections, programs, services, and recruitment practices that support a more welcoming organization.

PGPL will take action against racism by:

  • Ensuring that all events hosted on library property and all official library communications include an acknowledgement that the library conducts its work on the ancestral lands of the Lheidli T’enneh people.
  • Providing regular and ongoing education and development opportunities for library staff that raise awareness of systemic racism, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions, while promoting cultural sensitivity, justice, and inclusion.
  • Reviewing and updating library spaces and procedures to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and people of colour are treated with dignity and respect, and that they feel safe and welcome at the library.
  • Developing a Diversity Policy that supports the recruitment and development of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour at all levels of the organization and board of trustees.
  • Consulting with the public and organizations that advocate for and serve Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
  • Promoting, celebrating, and continuing to build library collections that feature the work and perspectives of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
  • Creating programs and events that are specifically designed to reach Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
  • Developing programs and events to provide opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour to share lived experience with library patrons and staff members.

For our next steps, the library commits to developing policies and procedures to support us in accomplishing these goals. We also commit to sharing regular updates on our progress in achieving these objectives.

--Prince George Public Library Board of Trustees

If you would like provide feedback about the Statement or have suggestions regarding the library's role in combatting racism, please submit a customer comment form at: www.pgpl.ca/comments or email Library Director Paul Burry, at pburry@pgpl.ca.