By Sarah Marshall
This week, the Trustees unanimously passed a policy meant to guide the Building Committee as it undertakes its work (pending approval on Nov. 2). Here is the text:
MOTION – The Trustees of the Jones Library publicly announce their intention that the renovated and expanded Library be developed in such a way to assure all members of the Amherst community are and feel welcome, and that all members of the community feel that the Library belongs to them. Such intention would be realized in the first instance through the work of the Building Committee, which work should be guided by a commitment to antiracism and include the perspectives of marginalized groups. That Committee’s work must involve an examination of the way different communities in our town use and experience Library spaces and the iconography and representations contained in the Library. Approved as amended, 6-0-0.
A few weeks ago, Library Director Sharon Sharry discussed, during the recent Cuppa’ Joe meeting focusing on the project, the painful realization that some members of our community do not feel welcome in the existing library spaces. She mentioned that, for example, encountering a large, formal portrait of a white benefactor in the front entry seemed to announce the space as white.