A Message from City Librarian John F. Szabo
The Los Angeles Public Library condemns the continuing acts of violence against members of our Asian and Pacific Islander communities across the country. We stand in solidarity with the survivors, victims, and their families during this challenging moment, when fear accompanies even the most basic daily experiences. We all deserve to live without the threat of violence and to feel safe in our neighborhoods.
The recent assaults come on the heels of over 2,800 acts of documented anti-Asian hate incidents between March to December 2020, with chilling consequences for our community members who fear violence whenever they leave their homes. There are many additional cases that are misclassified, ignored, or unreported.
Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Ridley-Thomas have issued statements condemning Asian and Pacific Islander hate crimes, and the City’s new Civil + Human Rights Equity Department is deeply invested in this work. The Los Angeles City Council has also introduced motions to address violence and harassment against Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Our library will be encouraging dialogue within our local communities about persistent negative stereotypes about Asians and Pacific Islanders and how to dismantle them; gathering and providing resources on interventions and responses that provide culturally and linguistically sensitive services for survivors, victims, and their families. At present, we encourage our community to refer to the Asian Pacific American Librarians’ Association’s 2021 COVID-19 anti-xenophobia and anti-racist information resources and COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism Resources for K-12.
We stand in solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We urge our library community to stand with us by publicly condemning anti-API racism through visible actions, which we encourage you to share through APALA’s Stand with APALA Against Anti-AAPI Racism. We call on our partner organizations and allies to join forces with us in battling discrimination, xenophobia, and white supremacy. To our Asian and Pacific Islander communities, please know that we see you and we stand with you. We want you to feel safe and supported in your city and at the library.
John F. Szabo