For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Katherine Jardine
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
— Access to information, public disclosure, deliberation, civic engagement and the opportunity for everyone to have a better tomorrow – these are the ideals that many great countries hold true. Public libraries uphold these ideals and values, helping people to be better informed, providing assistance in separating fact from fiction and affording education and skill development for everyone. San Francisco Public Library is participating in a national campaign sponsored by the Urban Libraries Council
(ULC) that celebrates these values and the important role that libraries play in our strong democracy. The community can learn more about that role by following @SFPublicLibrary and @UrbanLibCouncil and joining the conversation at #LifeLibertyLibraries.
“The library is a place that supports the values of equity and inclusion that mirror San Francisco’s values,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “Our libraries are sanctuaries that provide a safe and neutral space for ongoing dialogue on the issues and challenges facing our nation.”
Libraries across the country have developed unique programs, services and operating practices that address specific needs in their community. These programs include organizing and contributing to discussions that address topics such as a civil society, inclusion and tolerance, tenets of democracy and civic engagement, among others.
An example are the many immigrant services programs occurring in San Francisco Public Library locations across the City. Programs presented by the San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network
(SFILEN) include ten “Know Your Rights” workshops that outline the latest immigration policies (held in English, Spanish and Chinese) and “Become an Immigrant Ally” programs, covering how current executive policies are affecting the immigrant community. Additional SFPL programs include resources and volunteer opportunities on how to make a difference in your community and conversational English language groups.
In addition, our Summer Stride programs include Alphabet Rockers’ Social Justice Family Workshops, teen Rock Against Racism and Youth Speaks Turn UP (The Volume) programs.
ULC will share information on programs like these as well as thought starters through social media channels and #LifeLibertyLibraries to encourage participation, conversation and engagement.
“Our library is a safe haven for our City’s diverse communities with free access to limitless resources for learning and success,” said Herrera. “The library supports the values of equity, inclusion and are open to everyone.”
“Libraries are the people’s university, helping each person grow and prosper personally and professionally. It’s a vital community resource that portrays our principles and beliefs,” said Susan Benton, ULC President and CEO. “Libraries provide us the ability to make ourselves, our families, our communities and our nation stronger. It’s a place where everyone can celebrate their values and become better informed citizens while reflecting on their independent thoughts, their aspirations and their future.”
Information about San Francisco Public Library programs and services can always be found at sfpl.org.
“The library provides everyone with the freedom to access information to make enlightened and informed decisions,” said Benton. “It’s especially imperative in today’s society as a place to share ideas, seek education and collaborate with or in one’s community. We encourage everyone to join the conversation on how libraries have supported their lives in their communities.”
The Friends of San Francisco Public Library are also seeking input with their Tell Us How You Think "Libraries Deliver Democracy"
effort. They’re sharing the community’s vision of our most democratic public institution, our public library.
For more information about San Francisco Public Library please visit sfpl.org. For more information on Urban Libraries Council and member libraries, please visit UrbanLibraries.org.
About Urban Libraries Council
Urban Libraries Council (ULC), founded in 1971, is the voice for public libraries and the force that inspires them to evolve. ULC creates the tools, techniques, and ideas to make ongoing improvements and upgrades in services and technology. ULC also speaks loudly and clearly about the value public libraries bring to communities, and secures funding for research that results in the development of new programs and services. And by serving as a forum for library leadership, ULC produces innovative ideas and best practices that ensure community impact. ULC member libraries serve more than 90 million people.