We Will Say Your Names: IRDL Scholars Respond to Orlando

We at the William H. Hannon Library are saddened and horrified by the hateful acts that took place in Orlando, Florida this past weekend. Yesterday, the LMU campus community held a memorial service for those lost and injured in this tragic event. Many of the library staff and the 2016 IRDL scholars came together to grieve alongside our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ and Latinx communities. Additionally, some of the IRDL scholars have offered their thoughts as part of a series on the IRDL blog:

From Adam H. Lisbon, Japanese & Korean Studies Librarian at the University of Colorado Boulder:

“I wonder what we as librarians should do next? I remember our core values – the Library Bill of Rights states “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people…” [emphasis mine]. We help people question the status quo, we help our patrons think critically and not give in to easy to swallow bigoted narratives. We have the capacity to use our spaces for discussions, events, and displays – which make it clear that we support LGBT people and that Library spaces are for them. We will need to do the same for our Muslim friends and patrons as a new wave of Islamophobic rhetoric begins to grow.”

From Lorelei Rutledge, Faculty Services Librarian and the online reference coordinator for the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah:

“My heart breaks for them and their families, as well as for the Muslim LGBTQ people and allies who will face additional scrutiny in the following months. I would like to ask other White people, in light of our privilege, to think deeply about how we can support people of color in these communities by providing both material resources as we are able and by doing our own work to embrace and promote anti-racism.”

From Derrick Jefferson, Communication Librarian at American University:

“When we say your names, it will be loud and clear as a bell. There will be no wavering in our voices, for they will be steady and distinct. We do so in your honor and memory.”

From Anne Marie Gruber, Instruction & Liaison Librarian:

“I choose hope. As an academic librarian, I am surrounded by a profession focused on service, social justice, and equality. It is a privilege to work with college students every day who give me hope for the future. They are energetic and caring, and demonstrate an embrace of diversity that is improving our campuses and our communities every day.”

We strive to make the William H. Hannon Library a safe space for communal learning, understanding, and growth. We stand with all of our friends and colleagues affected by this tragic event. We also encourage you to support the families and friends of the victims. For information on where you can donate, please see the following articles:

(Update: This post was updated at 1:55 p.m. on 6/15/2016 to include an additional statement by Anne Marie Gruber.)