This is a love letter to our community — a celebration of what we’ve built together and a commitment to keep fighting for the safety and liberation we know is possible in our libraries.
We began organizing together during the international uprisings in defense of Black lives this summer. We have experienced and witnessed police violence, racial profiling, and harassment in our communities and in our libraries. It is a crisis we cannot turn away from. We ourselves did not feel safe in libraries where police are present, and we knew we had to do something about it.
St. Louis County Library Director Kristen Sorth pays police over $585,000 per year to harass Black patrons. Despite 60+ public comments, and a Black Lives Matter petition with over 1200 signatures, she has yet to respond to community demands to divest from police and invest in safety for Black people. Sorth fired 122 part time workers — disproportionately people of color, younger, some single parents, and people with disabilities — during a pandemic while continuing to pocket her salary of over $180,000.
Libraries for All STL is a multiracial coalition of library workers and community members who believe Black Lives Matter in our libraries. We are here because others have fought and are fighting structural racism in our community. Our timeline below lists the events that have transpired at SLCL since June 2020.
On August 11, the Library administration retaliated against employee protest by firing 122 part-time workers in the midst of a pandemic and economic recession.These workers are majority young, 38% people of color, many uninsured and some single parents. They received phone calls before their shifts or were fired on…
Libraries for All STL is a multiracial coalition of library workers and community members who believe Black Lives Matter in our libraries.