Public libraries: places of safety and inclusion

The public library reflects the best of the American ideal: a place where all people are welcome and safe to learn, create, express and explore in ways that better their lives.

Today, a great many people and communities are experiencing instability, discrimination and marginalization. As a nation we must address the enormous questions and challenges we face in pursuit of a more perfect union.

On behalf of every person who works at Multnomah County Library, I offer these heartfelt sentiments to the people we serve: Multnomah County Library is a safe place. You are welcome. You are valuable. We are here to serve you, regardless of how you look, what you believe, where you were born, what language you speak, who you love, your ability, your housing status or any other way that you identify.

The library has always been and will forever remain a place where people are free to live, be, think and speak their own truths. Please join us as we embrace this work with kindness, inclusion, respect and courage, even in the face of our differences.

Vailey Oehlke

Director of Libraries

Vailey Oehlke