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Message from the Dean of Libraries

by Library News on 2020-06-05T09:45:00-07:00 | Comments

Message from the Dean of Libraries

I want to live in a world that is fair and just and free. I want to live in a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect regardless of their race, income, or job title. I want to live in a world where black men and women can jog down the street or watch birds in the park without fearing for their lives. I believe that most of us want to live in this world. But we don't, and we never have. This world is not given to us. We have to make it and fight for it.

I like to believe that I do my little part to build a better world by working in the CSUEB library. A library should be a place where all visitors are treated with the dignity that everyone everywhere deserves. A library should open the doors of our minds so that we can imagine a better world and learn how to create it. But I worry that my own willful ignorance prevents the CSUEB Library from becoming what it should be. When society treats you well, it is comfortable to believe that it already gives justice to everyone. I didn't see (I had to be shown) that three men of color have been shot by the Hayward Police during the last 10 days, within 3 miles of the University where I work. If I don't notice violence and oppression in my own city, how can I fight for justice in our nation?

I am not writing this message to tell you how to fight racism. I trust you to figure that out for yourselves. Come to the library, and we'll give you some tools to help you think things through. I guess that I am writing to tell you that I'll try to do better; I'll do my best to make the library and our society what they should be. If there is something else that I don't see, please show me. If there is something else that the library should do, please tell me.

Sincerely

John Wenzler
Dean of Libraries


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