Although tragedies such as the one in Orlando shock us, we can show our support by continuing to be devoted to the ideals of inclusion and providing a safe haven for all people and ideas.
We in the FAU Libraries support and celebrate the diversity of our students and faculty, the University, our local community, and the world around us. Libraries actively strive to present multiple points of view. This is a principle that is well defined within the North American library community, as outlined by the American Library Association in the Library Bill of Rights. To this end, we will continue to host a wide variety of lectures and debates representing diverse points of view; we will develop and host exhibitions on wide-ranging topics such as Black history, LGBT pride, Native American identity, Jewish culture, the Holocaust, Women’s History and more; we will continue to develop collections of materials that reflect a full range of viewpoints on important topics in support of the University’s courses and programs; we will continue to strive to serve all of our students in the ways that they need; we will continue to promote these ideals through events like the Human Library we are planning for the fall.
As author Scott Page notes in The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, “When a collection of people work together, and one person makes an improvement, the others can often improve on this new solution even further: improvements build on improvements. Diverse perspectives and diverse heuristics apply sequentially: one gets applied after the other, and in combination. One plus one often exceeds two” (2007, p. 340).
Together, by staying true to the ideals of American libraries, we can defeat those who would destroy or demoralize us; we can defeat those who encourage us to be afraid and to exclude, differentiate, eliminate. Come to the Libraries and explore the beauty and challenge of our diverse world where not everyone looks alike, thinks alike, or talks alike and where the main thing we have in common is tolerance and respect for everyone’s right to become the best they can be.