AU Libraries Commitment to Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression

Alfred University Libraries stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and global movements responding to the systemic racism and anti-Black violence that recently claimed the lives of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and innumerable others. We recognize that this movement is intersectional and essential to dismantling oppression. We appreciate and endorse the statements of Alfred University and the American Library Association, which show support for all marginalized communities, especially the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community.

Affirming that Black Lives Matter engages with our Libraries’ value of supporting “intellectual and cultural diversity” and recommits us to the strategic goals of recruiting and retaining “a diverse and talented staff” and to developing “library programming that makes the libraries a center for intellectual discussion.” We recognize, however, that this is not enough.

The Libraries acknowledge that an ongoing history of oppression occurs not just in areas such as policing, housing, employment, and healthcare, but also in library services, where there are many examples of libraries being complacent or complicit in the oppression  of BIPOC. Alfred University Libraries do not claim immunity from complicity in this history of systemic racism.

Current events show us that unvoiced support for marginalized communities is only slightly better than no support at all, so we are actively adding our voice. However, this is only the first step. We also commit to “walking the walk” in order to create a more equitable, inclusive, and empowering environment, and a more just society. As a start, we will take the following concrete steps:

Creating a more inclusive environment:

  • Solicit feedback from students on “What would make you feel more welcome and/or comfortable in the Alfred University Libraries?” Partner with the Institute for Cultural Unity to ensure students from marginalized groups are aware that we are asking for their feedback.
  • Require all library personnel to participate in implicit bias and bystander intervention training (see Appendix).
  • Strongly encourage library personnel to participate in Psychological First-Aid (PFA) and Safe Zone training (see Appendix).
  • Evaluate the library search and hiring process to reduce bias and increase equity and to incorporate best-practices.
  • Integrate anti-racist and/or anti-oppression values and language into the AU Libraries Mission, Vision, and Values.

Creating more inclusive collections: 

  • Actively add the work of BIPOC scholars to library collections.
  • Add resources to support anti-oppression research and work to library collections.
  • Solicit suggestions from students on collecting library materials by and/or about BIPOC.
  • Whenever possible, ensure that library displays include works by marginalized creators/authors.
  • Expand collaboration with student groups for library displays and events.

Educating ourselves:

  • Begin a discussion group for library personnel focusing on works from a list of anti-racist resources or a list of anti-oppression readings focused on libraries and librarianship (see Appendix).
  • Create a resource guide focused on anti-oppression (see Appendix).

We commit to regularly evaluating our progress and continuing to build on this statement and commitment. We welcome input from our patrons and our community on additional steps we can take as we work toward improving ourselves as professionals and as the Alfred University Libraries.

AppendixExample Trainings and Resources

To guide the implementation of the actionable steps in our commitment, Alfred University Libraries recommend these examples and resources to be used as appropriate.


Libraries Announce Reopening Dates

Alfred University Libraries will reopen to students, faculty and staff on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

The best source of up-to-date information, including the complete reopening plan, is the AU Libraries Services for Fall 2020 Guide (

Both Herrick Library and Scholes Library will reopen on Sunday, August 23, at 2pm.  Complete building hours for Fall 2020 are listed below.

At this time, due to the unique demands of this coming semester, our reduced building services will initially be directed toward the academic support of AU students, faculty and staff.  Community members are valued library patrons and we look forward to welcoming the community for item pickup and appointments as early as Monday, September 7th, 2020.  Watch for separate announcements regarding these services.

Here are a few highlights of what to expect this semester:

What’s available?

  • Library books and media for pick up via an online request system (coming soon!)
  • Research assistance with Librarians by Zoom or email
  • PCs, printers and scanners, but with reduced seats and capacity to support distancing
  • Article databases, Kanopy (video streaming) and ebooks
  • Interlibrary Loan (Electronic requests available now, print material returning soon!)
  • Scanning pages from Library periodicals or books (amount may be limited due to copyright restrictions)

What’s not available?

  • Shelf browsing
  • Study rooms and conference rooms
  • The 24 hour study rooms
  • Reserve Books (email and we will assist you via scanning or locating electronic alternatives)
  • Shareable items like headphones, laptops, chargers, and markers
    Programming and events
    Please email us any questions you have at

We look forward to seeing you soon. Let us know how we can help make this semester a success for you and your students!

Fiat Bibliotheca!

AU Library Hours for Fall 2020




2:00 pm – 10:00 pm

2:00 pm – 10:00 pm


8:00 am – 5:00 pm

8:00 am – 10:00 pm


8:00 am – 10:00 pm

8:00 am – 5:00 pm


8:00 am 5:00 pm

8:00 am – 10:00 pm


8:00 am – 10:00 pm

8:00 am – 5:00 pm


8:00 am – 5:00 pm

8:00 am – 5:00 pm