St. Augustine

Antiracism Statement and Action Plan

Joint Statement on Anti-Racism

The University Libraries, the Rittenberg Law Library, and the Kathryn & Shelby Cullom Davis Library are united in opposition to systemic racism and racial violence. Pope Francis reminds us that "we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form". Therefore, our libraries, in keeping with Catholic social justice teachings, must strive to affect the common good rather than claim a neutral stance. In support of St. John’s University’s community of students, researchers and scholars, we stand together in commitment as allies in the intentional pursuit of anti-racist practices, policies, and collections.

University Libraries Anti-Racism Task Force

The University Libraries Anti-Racism Task Force was formed in October 2020 and has been charged with developing and moving forward the Libraries’ Anti-Racism Action Plan.

The task force members are:

  • Caroline Fuchs, University Librarian and  Associate Professor (ex officio)
  • Ann Jusino, Associate Professor and Librarian
  • Anthony Todman, Associate Professor and Librarian
  • Benjamin Turner, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Library Assessment and Inclusive Practices (Chair)
  • Dorothy McGovern, Library Circulation and Reserves
  • Kathryn Shaughnessy, Associate Professor, Associate University Librarian, and Open Educational Resources Librarian
  • Sam Scala, Graduate Student, Division of Library & Information Sciences
  • Shilpa Karnik, Associate Director, Emerging Technologies
  • Trinidad Duran, Undergraduate Student, SJC, History

St. John’s University Libraries’ Community Norms

St. John’s University Libraries fosters the open exchange of ideas and inquiry in a respectful environment free of harassment. Harassment may include comments, gestures, facial expressions, or imagery that demeans people based on language, religion, ethnicity, gender, physical or mental disability, physical appearance, or sexual preference. Those using library spaces, services and resources will treat other library users and employees with consideration and respect. We will respect the rights of others, and practice self-discipline. We will help protect the library collections and spaces while holding ourselves and each other accountable for keeping these norms. Together we can create a library environment that is welcoming, caring and affirming.

Adopted by the St. John’s University Libraries Faculty Council on November 2, 2021.

Anti-Racism Initiatives, 2021-22

1.    Inclusive Practices Scan. The University Libraries will assess inclusive practices at St. John’s University as they relate to Collections, Inclusive Culture, Instruction, Online Access, Services.

2.    Develop a Collection Development Philosophy, which will inform the creation of a Collection Management Policy with an emphasis on inclusion. As a follow-up to the eBook collection assessment project conducted during the 2020-21 academic year.

Workshops, 2021-22

St. John’s University Libraries will provide three inclusion and anti-racism workshops for library employees during 2021-22 academic year. 


Anti-Racism Initiatives, 2020-21 

1.  Assessment of Libraries Web Site for Inclusion and Accessibility

Summary of Results: The review found that the libraries’ web pages were generally inclusive in the language and images used. 

2.  Assessment of Libraries’ eBook Collection for Inclusivity

Summary of Results: St. John’s University’s eBook holdings reached each of the three targets set by the working group, holding 67% of Columbia’s holdings, 86% of Fordham’s holdings, and 104% of Long Island University’s holdings. Categories included books about racism, African Americans, Arab Americans, Latinx Americans, and Asian Americans.