Carolina’s libraries are integral to every part of the University’s mission – providing access to millions of resources, helping students and researchers navigate reliable and useful information, and teaching students and faculty the skills they need to turn information into knowledge. In the recent months, in typical Tar Heel spirit, we came together to help our students and faculty successfully make it through an extraordinarily trying spring semester, by:
- Helping students and faculty in real time – answering upwards of 2,400 questions via chat, remote consultation, email and virtual office hours.
- Boosting access to online resources including eBooks, streaming video and e-journals.
- Supporting over 12,000 students – providing course reserve materials electronically.
- Making high-powdered software found in the library available remotely.
- Moving class instruction and workshops online.
In addition to suffering a global pandemic, communities around the world have come together to protest anti-black violence following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Being integral to every part of the University’s mission includes the required work of reckoning with systemic racism and injustice.
The University Libraries has an obligation—and a great deal of work to do—in order to be part of the solution, and through a new University Libraries initiative to engage in the work of reckoning, we are fully committed to action.
As we move forward in this difficult time, the University Libraries is called upon to be an organization that fully lives our stated commitment to inclusion and diversity. We must set the stage so that every individual who engages with the University Libraries—whether students, professors, clinicians, community members and our own staff—can bring their best and most authentic selves to the work that they do. Only in this way will the University Libraries bring our own best efforts to the mission of the University.