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Systemic Racism & White Privilege

Vogel Library provides access to many materials that will support your investigations into privilege, racism, and social justice.

Libraries and anti-racism

Vogel Library's support for racial justice

Vogel Library supports both equality AND equity, diversity AND inclusion; we believe Black Lives (and humanity!) Matter, and we condemn police and social racism in all forms--physical, verbal, mental, anything.

Our mission and policies reflect our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality. While the collection is only one aspect of how a library can support social justice, it's the most visible and thus a main focus. The librarians also promote inclusion through our teaching formats and material, and the library promotes an atmosphere of inclusion through visual cues throughout our spaces. There is always, of course, more work to be done. Our work reflects our mission; may we achieve our goals and accept correction as required.

Libraries & racism throughout history

While libraries today enjoy a reputation for advocacy, acceptance, and accessibility, this is a recent trend--and in many cases, still a hollow one.

In the fall of 2017, Wartburg librarian Jill Westen presented on the history of racism in libraries at the Iowa Library Association fall conference. You can view the slideshow below.

Highlights include how we can all reach a place where we know we will make a racial mistake (not that we can become divine and never make one), how Iowa is full of white people and librarianship is full of white women (with all that encompasses), and the sluggishness of the librarianship profession as a whole to embrace equality during the Civil Rights movement.

Library Association Statements 2020

Library associations have issued statements in support of Black Lives Matter and in condemnation of racist police violence and all systemic racism. Vogel Library stands with these statements and would support equality and justice even if the associations did not.

Vogel Library, Wartburg College   |   100 Wartburg Blvd, Waverly, IA, 50677 |   Phone: 319-352-8500   | Email: