A Message from our Director

Dear Library Patron,
We stand with the American Library Association and the Black Caucus of the American
Library Association in condemning racism and discrimination against Black people and
all people of color.
Since the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis, municipalities
in all fifty states are bearing witness to the pain caused by systemic racism and our
country’s sin of slavery. For the most part, these marches, rallies, and protests are
peaceful demonstrations bringing people of all races together. Just this past week a
Unity Rally brought Hamden residents together for a march from Newhallville to Town
Center. On Sunday, the Hamden Police Department paid tribute to George Floyd and
denounced police brutality by participating in a town-wide gathering. These marches
amplify our need, both locally and nationally, to honestly and earnestly begin the hard
work of racial reconciliation.
Racial reconciliation requires openly and honestly recognizing how systemic racism has
harmed our country by subjugating people of color, particularly African Americans. It is
about taking responsibility for those actions and creating a new system of behavior.
Public libraries—as most institutions in this country at one time or another—have
engaged in this behavior. Recall the famous scene in the movie Hidden Figures when
Dorothy Vaughn, NASA mathematician, is thrown out of the library because she was
browsing for a book in the Whites Only section.
The Hamden Public Library strives to be a meaningful resource for racial reconciliation.
While municipal and public health authorities review our phased plan for restoring
onsite services, our digital branch, www.hamdenlibrary.org, is available all hours for
individuals to request a digital library card and borrow items. I invite you to make full
use of our dynamic collection, books, movies, music, and magazines, to learn more
about racism, equity, civil rights, and multiculturalism. Follow us on Instagram as our
Children’s Department shares book recommendations on these topics that are
appropriate for young readers and families.
We are working on becoming a more equitable asset to the town by acquiring more hot
spots for loaning to people needing internet access, and by eliminating fines. Though
our programs might be virtual ones for a while, we are committed to working with new
collaborators to help deepen our understanding of who we are as community.
As always, thank you for reading,
Melissa Canham-Clyne
Library Director