Building, Understanding, Informing, Leading, and Developing
PVLD is committed to creating a racially equitable, diverse and inclusive environment for the Peninsula and PVLD staff. We invite you to be a part of our work by exploring our read, watch, and listen lists and invite you to join us in taking action in our community. Thank you to those BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folx in this space and those allies creating community around action.
Want more? Attend an event, take our 21-day racial equity challenge, or visit our "Celebrate Our Stories" page for more recommendations on how to celebrate cultural heritage months.
PVLD's B.U.I.L.D. Team fosters the District's shared values of service, public stewardship, and education to create an inclusive environment for staff and the community. We do this through support, assessment, and facilitation to continue to ensure equity is built into all parts of PVLD. The B.U.I.L.D. team focuses on many aspects of equity and diversity including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and religion.
Cultivating Racial Equity and Inclusion in Libraries (CREI)
The Palos Verdes Library District is proud to be a part of the Cultivating Racial Equity and Inclusion in Libraries (CREI) 2019-2020 Cohort, a grant funded initiative from the California State Library. The public library cohort participated in an immersive process, designed specifically for government organizations. CREI provided coordinated training to advance the work of PVLD and its community through a race and equity lens. For each jurisdiction, the work focused on skills building, support, collegial mentorship, and the development of a tailored Vision Statement and a Racial Equity Action Plan with strategies for implementation. In addition, the grant also provided for the establishment of a statewide network to continue and advance the work so that all California libraries may benefit from resources developed focused on race, equity and inclusion, in a library context. The results from CREI at PVLD are ongoing by the BUILD Team and PVLD was invited to participate in Year 2 of this grant from 2021-2022.
A message from Library Director, Jennifer Addington
April 29, 2023
As National Library Week draws to a close, I was pleased to join readers across the country in recognizing Right to Read Day and committing to making every day a right to read day going forward. I remember so clearly going into the public library in 6th and 7th grade, finding the rack of Harlequin paperback romances, and reading them cover to cover, issue by issue. In my house, you could get out of a chore, or at least delay it, if you were reading. My mother knew firsthand how it felt to be told “put that book down and go do something useful” and made a promise to herself that her own children would be free to read to their heart's content. She encouraged us to explore worlds (both real and imaginary) through the written word, to learn about cultures and traditions different than our own, to share our ideas and thoughts with her, and ask questions about anything we didn’t understand. My brother and I didn’t read the same books but we found the same joy in reading.
The third law of library science states, “every book it’s reader” which means that all books have a place even if only a very small demographic might choose to read them. The Palos Verdes Library District strives to be a place where everyone in our community can see themselves on our shelves, even if it’s just one book that represents you, one title that speaks to you, in a way no other could. When a book is banned, the chance that one book might be the exact title another person is looking for is taken away. The one title, maybe the only title, that might speak to them is gone. Library patrons have the right to choose the books they read; they do not have the right to force those choices on others.
In 2022, the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom tracked 1,269 book challenges, a 38% increase from 2021. A vast majority of those titles were written by or featured members of the LGBTQIA+ community or were about or by Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. Book challenges have become another battleground for issues of social justice and equality for those in already marginalized communities and as an advocate for the freedom to read, libraries need to add their voices to a call to action and denounce all book bans and challenges.
PVLD stands with the American Library Association to unite against book bans and calls on all citizens to defend, protect and celebrate our right to read. As attempts to ban books continue to rise across the country, PVLD is firm in our resolve to fight censorship and work to create a space where everyone is seen, heard, and celebrated.
State of America’s Library 2023
Empowered by Reading
A message from Library Director, Jennifer Addington
March 18, 2021
The Palos Verdes Library District condemns the continuing acts of violence against members of our Asian and Pacific Islander communities across the country, from New York to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. We stand in solidarity with the survivors, victims, and their families during this challenging time, when the threat of violence accompanies even the most basic daily experiences. All people deserve to feel safe in our neighborhoods and places of business.
The recent assault in Atlanta, GA comes on the heels of over 2,800 reported acts of documented anti-Asian hate incidents between March to December 2020, with chilling consequences for our community members who fear violence whenever they leave their homes. Only weeks ago, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association released a statement condemning the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, which have risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As with many crimes against people of color, there are many additional cases that are misclassified, ignored, or unreported.
Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco) have introduced AB 557, a bill that will require the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish a toll-free hotline as well as an online reporting system to report hate crimes and hate incidents. The Los Angeles City Council has also introduced motions to address violence and harassment against Asians and Pacific Islanders.
For more information, we encourage our community to refer to the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s 2021 COVID-19 anti-xenophobia and anti-racist information resources and COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism Resources for K-12. We also encourage our community members to read, listen, and reflect on resources curated by our librarians available below and at the tabs on the left.
PVLD stands in solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander communities and urges our community to stand with us by publicly condemning anti-API racism through visible actions, which we encourage you to share through APALA’s Stand with APALA Against Anti-AAPI Racism. We call on our partner organizations and allies to join with us in battling xenophobia, discrimination, and white supremacy. To our Asian and Pacific Islander communities, please know that we see you and we stand together with you. We want you to feel safe and supported in your communities and at the library.
Featured Resources Focusing on Asian Americans
As the rise in anti-Asian violence and hate crimes increases, we recognize the complexity of race in our society, how these acts intersect with anti-Blackness, and provide some resources highlighting ways to combat anti-Asian racism in America. Please visit the tabs on the left for more resources on how to combat anti-Black racism and how to work towards an anti-racist society. We are always open to suggestions to add to our resources as well.
- All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung (Book, Audiobook on CD, Hoopla Audiobook)
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong (Book)
- The Leavers by Lisa Ko (Book, Hoopla eBook, Hoopla Audiobook, Overdrive eBook, Overdrive Audiobook)
- The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee (Book, Hoopla Audiobook)
- The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin (Book, Hoopla Audiobook)
- No-No Boy by John Okada (Hoopla Audiobook)
- They Called Us Enemy by George Takei (Book, Hoopla eBook, Hoopla eBook - Expanded Version, Hoopla eBook - Espanol)
- I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita (Book, Hoopla eBook, Hoopla Audiobook)
- Gook (DVD, Hoopla Movie)
A message from Library Director, Jennifer Addington
June 3, 2020
The Palos Verdes libraries support our Black community and acknowledge the conflict, pain and injustice suffered by Black people across our nation. Our libraries strive to create a welcoming space for all, where differing points of view are encouraged and respected, and where learning and discussion can take place promoting a world free of racism. We recognize that institutions such as ours must constantly work towards dismantling racist structures to create a truly inclusive community. This includes a thorough review of our own policies and practices. The PV libraries remain strongly supportive of and committed to serving the needs of our entire diverse community, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious or political beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or age.
We share a profound sense of pain and loss from the recent as well as historic violence inflicted on Black lives. We also acknowledge and are disturbed by the xenophobia and racism those in our Asian American community are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are deeply committed to being there for the Palos Verdes Peninsula as a community space, physical and virtual, where all can come together and learn from each other.
We fully endorse and bring attention to recent statements by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), REFORMA, and the American Library Association. I have signed APALA’s pledge to make a commitment against xenophobia and racism against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans due to COVID-19. We extend that pledge to all of our communities of color, especially our Black community. When we see instances of racism in our families, community, state, or nation, we vow to take a bold stance to condemn any language, attitudes, and behaviors that take us further from our goal of being an inclusive and equitable society.
It is with this commitment that we encourage our community members to join us in taking action and educating ourselves on racism by considering the links on the left curated by our librarians containing inspiring books, websites and podcasts. We recognize that this work to eliminate discrimination of all kinds is ongoing and that there are many more resources out there to be shared. Want more recommendations? Ask one of our librarians. We’re here for you all.
The below lists for Adults, Teens, and Kids have been curated by PVLD librarians as a starting point for exploring racial equity, race, and antiracist work. There are many methods and ways to approach racial equity and we will continue to update our lists as new materials are released.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (Book)
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Book)
How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones (Book)
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas In America by Ibram X. Kendi (Book)
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo (Book)
Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad (Book)
For more titles, click here
13th (2016) (Netflix via Youtube)
Fruitvale Station (2014) (DVD)
The Hate U Give (2018) (DVD)
- Whose Streets? (2017) (Hoopla, Kanopy)
For more DVD titles, click here
For more Kanopy titles on social and systemic injustice, click here
Colorblind: A Story of Racism by Jonathan Harris (Book)
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson (Book)
How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon (Book)
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina (Book)
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely (Book)
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (Book)
Black Boy/White School by Brian F. Walker (Book)
X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz (Book)
Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Beals (Book)
Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester (Book)
The Day you Begin by Jacqueline Woodson (Book)
Sit-in : How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Book)
Let it shine : Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Book)
Malcolm Little : The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz (Book)
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander (Book)
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Book)
For more titles, click here
The below podcasts, TedTalks, and websites have been curated by PVLD librarians as a starting point for exploring racial equity, race, and antiracist work with adults. There are many methods and ways to approach racial equity and we will continue to update our lists as new materials are released and community interest and questions inspire.
1619, an audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling from the New York Times.
Code Sw!tch, an audio series from a multi-racial, multi-generational team of NPR journalists who cover race and identity.
Floodlines, from The Atlantic, an audio documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Floodlines is told from the perspective of four New Orleanians still living with the consequences of governmental neglect.
Intersectionality Matters!, hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a leading critical race theorist who coined the term "intersectionality," this podcast brings the academic term to life.
Life Kit: How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race (Episode of Life Kit podcast), NPR's Michel Martin talks with Jennifer Harvey, author of Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, about how to talk with white kids about racially charged events — and how to keep the conversation going.
Implicit Bias -- How it Affects Us and How We Push Through by Melanie Funchess (16:12)
How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly to Them by Vernā Myers (17:49)
How to Recognize Your White Privilege - and Use it to Fight Ineqality by Peggy McIntosh (18:26)
The Path to Ending Systemic Racism in the U.S. - a panel with Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King and Anthony D. Romero (1:06:23)
We Need to Talk About an Injustice by Bryan Stevenson (23:26)
"#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."
"Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large." A common starting point for people exploring race, privilege, and power for the first time include Peggy McIntosh's article, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
The National Museum of African American History & Culture provides definitions, resources, and ways to talk about race and be antiracist.
Tools, resources, and tips to help people fight racism across the globe.
10 Things You Can Do To Be an Ally by the YWCA: PDF Tip Sheet with 10 concrete actions you can take to be an ally.
In order to create an inclusive environment which fosters inspiration and learning and to share the unique history of the Peninsula and it’s residents, the Palos Verdes Library District is dedicating itself to providing ongoing cultural experiences through small and large scale programs and celebrations. PVLD hopes that this initiative will create bridges between cultures in our community, ensure all members of our diverse community feel welcome and appreciated, and provide enriching and engaging experiences for all. We hope you celebrate not only during these months, but all year long.
Each celebration page below includes information about the history of our stories and cultures on the Peninsula, booklists, and more. Please note that we are always in the process of updating these pages so check back often for more and new recommendations.
There are many actions you can take to bring awareness to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Below are just a few examples curated by PVLD's B.U.I.L.D. Team. We encourage you to share the ways you’re working for these principles by tagging PVLD's social media handles, commenting on our posts, or by filling out our "Contact Us" form on the PVLD homepage. For more information on BUILD, visit the first tab on the left, B.U.I.L.D.
Read, Watch, Listen, & Learn
DEI work begins with you and a willingness to grow, learn, and share your knowledge with others. We’ve put together a few lists of resources to help you get started in this work, but know that there’s a lot more out there. If you've already started this work and have suggestions, please let us know! Our lists on the left focus on race and social justice, which are just two components of DEI work. Our Celebrate Pages list even more resources covering ethnicity, sexuality, and religion. All of these resources are always growing and evolving, just like DEI work.
Do you know of great work being done by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues, friends, or people you follow online? Share and promote their work far and wide, making sure you give credit where it’s due.
Explore Our Community’s History
Systemic racism intentionally and unintentionally informed many of the ways our society nationwide and locally has developed. We'll have a timeline available soon on this page showing a few examples of how our community was shaped by institutionalized racism and how it has changed to become more equal and equitable. We also invite you to think of ways you can help make change. Want more? Our Local History Center can help.
Share your story with YSPS
Our community is an increasingly diverse one, and we invite you to share your story with our Local History Center. Find out more on how to participate with this letter from our archivist and local history librarian, Monique Sugimoto.
Volunteer your time
Below are just a few local groups that may welcome an extra hand in their fight for social justice and racial equity. There’s a lot more out there, including Facebook and Meetup groups. This is just to get you started.
L.A. Works: This list from the non-profit volunteer action center includes Black-led nonprofits and businesses in the greater Los Angeles area.
Speak Out and Speak Up
Conversations about racist things you see in society are difficult to have but are necessary for change. We have to be able to speak out and name the inequities to dismantle them. To get you started, check out the “Questioning Frame of Mind” below from the National Museum of African American Culture and History. You may also want to check out the Racial Equity Tools website for more tips and definitions of terms used when discussing race.
A commitment to being antiracist manifests in our choices. When we encounter interpersonal racism, whether obvious or covert, there are ways to respond and interrupt it. Asking questions is a powerful tool to seek clarity or offer a new perspective. Below are some suggestions to use in conversations when racist behavior occurs:
Seek clarity: “Tell me more about __________.”
Offer an alternative perspective: “Have you ever considered __________.”
Speak your truth: “I don’t see it the way you do. I see it as __________.”
Find common ground: “We don’t agree on __________ but we can agree on __________.”
Give yourself the time and space you need: “Could we revisit the conversation about __________ tomorrow.”
Set boundaries. “Please do not say __________ again to me or around me.
Inequity can only change by changing the systems upholding it. Make sure if you’re 18 or older you are registered to vote and vote for those who will commit to and be accountable for making the change you want to see. Teens ages 16 and up can pre-register to vote. Register today: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/
Taking action is work that many disenfranchised communities and allies have been doing for generations. For those just joining and learning about ways to stop inequity, this work is the first step on a long journey towards joining those generations. No matter which end of the spectrum you're on, we're happy to have you here. This work won’t end anytime soon. Reading, thinking, and discussing can help point you in the right direction on the road to changing our world.
Studies show that habits take twenty-one days to form and we’re here to help you develop equity based habits by incorporating different activities into your everyday life. While this challenge is intended to take place over twenty-one days, take it at your own pace. There are many other challenges like this out there with different resources and different approaches that you may want to explore next. Check back as we continue to create new challenges to engage our community.
21 Day Pride Challenge explores the LGBTQ+ community's history, challenges, and ways allies can be supportive. Resources for completing the challenge can be found on our PVLD Celebrate Pride Page
21-Day Pride Challenge
Day 1: Familiarize yourself with who makes up the LGBTQ+ community.
Day 2: Learn about the different pronouns people use. Normalize the conversation by including them in how you mention individuals.
Day 3: Celebrate! Learn what Pride Month is and why it is celebrated.
Day 4: Interweave Pride into your everyday. Read a book by an author from the LGBTQ+ community.
Day 5: Listen to a member of the LGBTQ+ community talk about what pride means to them.
Day 6: Discuss! Share the challenge with a friend.
Day 7: 1st week reflection: What is one thing you have taken awar from this challenge so far?
Day 8: Identify past challenges. Choose a historical figure in the LGBTQ+ community and learn about their contributions and the obstacles set before them.
Day 9: Black transgender lives matter. Learn more about the movement and the challenges facing the Black transgender community.
Day 10: Discover the contributions the Latinx LGBTQ+ community has made to Los Angeles and the Unites States.
Day 11: Identify ways the definition of gender has changed and expanded.
Day 12: Challenge your perspective. Identify challenges for the LGTBQ+ community in the workplace.
Day 13: Listen to a podcast that explores the LGBTQIA+ experience in the United States.
Day 14: Week 2 reflection: Unwind with a film focused on LGBTQ+ stories
Day 15: Learn more about local LGBTQ+ organizations and how they're making a difference.
Day 16: Explore musicians int he LGBTQ+ community and how they have advocated for change.
Day 17: Using some of the deepening work you have done so far, what challenges does the LGBTQ+ community still face?
Day 18: Investigate: Is there LGBTQ+ representation in your local school system? How can it be improved?
Day 19: Safe space observation. Where in your own experiences have you witnessed inequity for the LGBTQ+ community?
Day 20: Make a plan: How will you advocate as an ally? Explore ways you could make positive changes with the LGBTQ+ community.
Day 21: You made it! Which challenges make you want to explore and learn more?
Our first challenge, offered in January 2021 explores how we can all examine our relationship to race and racial equity.
21 Day Racial Equity Challenge
Day 1: Reflect on the question: What does racial equity mean to you? Check out our Racial Equity page to familiarize yourself with our mission statement, community timeline, and more!
Day 2: Learn more about who has and is doing equity work in our community. Not sure where to start? Visit the “Take Action” tab of the PVLD racial equity page and explore the groups under “Volunteer Your Time”.
Day 3: Listen to another perspective by checking out a Podcast on our Racial Equity page under the “Listen and Learn” tab.
Day 4: Watch a documentary or film on our Racial Equity page under the “Read and Watch” tab to see life from another perspective.
Day 5: Reflect on the question: How would you advocate for racial equity? Start your day by taking ten minutes to think about how you would make your community more equitable.
Day 6: Learn how to have conversations about race. What’s vocabulary can you use? Want tips on having hard conversations? Visit the “Take Action” tab on our Racial Equity page under and explore tips on having difficult conversations under “Speak Out and Speak Up”.
Day 7: Reflect on Week 1
Day 8: Amplify Voices. Do you know of great work being done by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues, friends, or people you follow online? Share and promote their work far and wide. Not sure of any? Explore social media and see who you can discover.
Day 9: Practice the conversation tips you learned last week on a close family member or friend.
Day 10: Read from another perspective. We’ve got books and articles available on the “Read and Watch” tab of our Racial Equity page.
Day 11: Watch an equity centered Ted Talk. We’ve got recommendations for you on the “Listen and Learn” tab of our Racial Equity page.
Day 12: Reflect by comparing & contrasting. What causes do you support and who benefits from them?
Day 13: Learn about implicit bias. What is it, how to recognize it, and how can you decentralize it? Never heard the term before? Start with this Ted Talk: “Implicit Bias – how it effects us and how we push through it” by Melanie Funchess
Day 14: Reflect on Week 2.
Day 15: Reflect on the question: In what ways could supporting representation combat institutionalized racism?
Day 16: Learn about the history of redlining. How has it affected the development of your own community? Not familiar with redlining? Check out this episode of NPR’s Fresh Air: “A ‘Forgotten History’ of How the U.S. Government Segregated America”
Day 17: Talk with those close to you to explore how your childhood may have shaped your present views on race, politics, and more.
Day 18: Explore what PVLD is doing in support of racial equity on our Racial Equity page.
Day 19: Continue expanding your vocabulary. Visit www.racialequitytools.org for a great list of words and definitions.
Day 20: Reflect on the question: What actions can you take next to learn more about or improve racial equity?
Day 21: You’ve reached Day 21! Share the challenge, share your thoughts, share the discussion!