Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning University of California, San Francisco
Librarianship is grappling with how structural racism manifests and is furthered through the profession. This is occurring at a moment when the impact of policing and incarceration, particularly of Black Americans, has reached a critical point in the US. With Black people five times more likely to be incarcerated and twice as likely to be killed by police than people of any other racial identity, the manifestations of structural racism, and anti-Blackness in particular, in these systems are apparent.
After learning that 70% of 231 use of police force incidents on our campus in 2020 were against Black people, our library staff dedicated ourselves to eliminating anti-Black violence in our library space. This poster presentation will describe our journey to learn about and practice abolitionist services in libraries; our collaborations with campus groups including administration, university and county police forces, and student and staff organizations; our unique perspectives as academic and health sciences library workers situated in both clinical and academic settings; and our continuing efforts to create a police-free library given the challenges of institutional dynamics and politics. Our aim is to facilitate a space for attendees to reflect on the harmful effects of policing that manifest in libraries and discuss opportunities for incorporating abolitionist services into their library settings.