Supervisors Applaud Library’s New Long-Range Plan

5-year Anti-Racism & Equity Strategic Plan is ‘milestone in our journey’

San Rafael, CA – Reducing racial disparity and making Marin County a more welcoming place for all are top goals for the Marin County Board of Supervisors. The Marin County Free Library is in step with those goals, so the department has completed a five-year Anti-Racism & Equity Strategic Plan that was presented to the Supervisors on April 2 and approved with enthusiasm, encouragement, and thanks to all involved.

“This plan is the next milestone in our journey and reflects the passion of our staff, stakeholders, and community members to take the collective next step in addressing existing inequities in our communities based on race and income levels,” said MCFL Director Lana Adlawan. “We focused on communities of color in this plan, which we define as a collective term for non-white individuals who share a common experience, whether racially, ethnically, or a lived experience.”

MCFL staff counts the on-the-fly evolution of library services during the COVID-19 pandemic as a valuable lived experience. Morphing from a full array of in-person and online services, to almost purely online during the lockdowns, and back to hybrid offerings was revolutionary, Adlawan said.

A Racial Equity Alliance and a 24-member Strategic Plan Committee were central to the plan’s development and its alignment with anti-racism and equity policies already adopted by the County. Raemona Little Taylor, MCFL Assistant Director, said the library will consider equity impacts of all its services and remember who is burdened and who is benefitting.

“We recognize that for system-level changes to occur, there must be power shifts,” Little Taylor said. “We are committed to uplifting and building community power for communities of color and low-income communities in Marin.”

The Board members thanked library staff and all community partners for their collaborations on the plan and emphasized that the library branches are some of our most trusted places where people of different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, and age groups learn together. Sometimes, they can be places where difficult conversations about racism can take place in a safe and hopeful environment.

Board President Dennis Rodoni, who represents District 4, noted that a lot of the recommendations in the MCFL plan – “a very valuable document” -- are already underway. “Now you’re going to push the limits, which is really nice,” he said.

“The library is ready for this, and we thank you for your support,” Adlawan said.

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