Ajax Public Library is committed to practices that support a diverse and inclusive community.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather is situated within the traditional and treaty territory of the Mississaugas; more specifically, the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, signatories of the Gunshot Treaty of 1788 and the Williams Treaties of 1923.
This land is and will continue to be home to the Indigenous Peoples. Let us acknowledge the mistakes and traumas of the past with authenticity and support truth and reconciliation. Let us engage and celebrate Indigenous communities by being leaders of action, acknowledging the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's recommendations towards truth and reconciliation. Let us keep these principles close as we continue towards truth and reconciliation and move forward with kindness and respect as a community.
Library Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity Staff (LEIDS) Committee
Comprised of six (6) voting and one (1) non-voting staff members, this standing committee meets weekly. This committee is not currently open to members of the public, however we invite your input and feedback. Please contact the Coordinator of Community Engagement.
LEIDS has identified areas of service to review. During these reviews, members will recommend opportunities for change and/or enhancement and deliver work product on:
- Staff education to counter and identify misconceptions, prejudice, and biases, and enhance customer service;
- Expand Collections and Community Engagement to address equity, diversity, and inclusion to improve inclusivity and representation and to host programs which engage customers in this dialogue;
- Review and revise policies and procedures to develop a corporate culture addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion, to encourage staff diversity and to combat systemic racism at the Library.
Library Anti-Black Racism Staff Sub-Committee
Appointed July 2020 in response to local, national, and international events, Ajax Public Library's Anti-Black Racism Committee has based its mandate on the June 2020 Library Board statement condemning Anti-Black Racism and its promise to listen and support the Ajax Black community in its efforts to address systemic racism. To ensure that the Ajax Public Library, as a public institution is focusing on the tenets of equity, diversity, and inclusion for all, the Library’s Anti-Black Racism Committee (LABRC) has enlarged to serve as the Library’s Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Staff Committee (LEIDS). The work of LABRC will continue to function but as a sub-committee of this larger group.
In March 2021, the Library Anti-Black Racism Sub-Committee released an executive summary of the findings from their October 2020 Community Survey.
We are proud to have been designated as a Positive Space in 2016 and all our locations be marked as such. To receive this designation, we have met the standards of the OCASI Positive Space Assessment Guidelines.
What is a Positive Space? Positive Spaces are welcoming environments where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Pansexual, Genderqueer, etc. (2SLGBTQI) newcomers are able to access culturally inclusive services with dignity and respect, and where service providers can work free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
Youth Pride Partnerships
We are proud to partner with the Durham Children's Aid Society and other Durham Public Libraries to host Youth Pride events to create positive virtual and physical spaces at Ajax Public Library. For more information, please review the "Why Youth Pride?" information from Durham Children's Aid Society.
Drag Queen Storytime
On May 3, 2023, Durham Region Public Library executives and Board Chairs signed a statement to emphasize the importance and value of Drag Queen Storytime. Read the full statement and how Drag Queen Storytime helps develop stronger, more inclusive communities.
Collection Diversity Report
In 2022, the Library evaluated over 200,000 physical materials as a sampling of the overall collection to identify the percentage of diverse items available to our customers. Examining authors, characters, and content, the overall diversity of the collection has been measured at 15.44% for author representation, and 24.44% for characters and content. This review was conducted as part of our ongoing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) work plan, and the Library is confident that the diverse representation of authors, characters, and content will increase to be more representative of the Ajax community in the coming years.
View the full Collection Diversity Report to learn about the detailed analysis, industry trends, and next steps.