We Stand Together Against Racism and For a Reimagined Future

To our Greenwich patrons and community,

“Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this.” Toni Morrison

In this time of national reflection, Greenwich Library serves all members of our community, actively supporting freedom of speech, the search for knowledge and the fight against racism.

Black Lives Matter.

Between our collections – books, eBooks, movies, magazines, documentaries and wide-ranging audio holdings – and our programming – from discussion groups to book talks and lectures – we offer resources that inform and encourage the conversation.

At protests and rallies across the country, as different communities have come together to fight for true equality under the law, it has become clear that something fundamental needs to change if we are to defeat the systemic racism that has taken us to this point. Here at Greenwich Library, we want to be part of efforts to move forward, to reimagine what we can accomplish if we understand where we are and where we need to go. Knowledge is only power if we embrace it.

Two weeks ago we saw that four books were flying off our digital shelves: “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, and “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin. We contacted the relevant providers and by last week, we were able to offer unlimited digital copies. Our community wants to understand, and we want to help in that understanding.

While the pandemic has made us rethink how we bring together the Greenwich community in the near term, the Library’s mission statement remains our blueprint for the present and the future:

The mission of Greenwich Library is to provide exceptional resources, programs and services that promote the joy of lifelong learning and discovery, and to offer a welcoming place for people to gather and share experiences.

Our Values:
Promote the joy of reading and lifelong learning.
Deliver superior library services.
Celebrate and support the diversity of our community.
Incorporate technology in a mindful and responsive way.
Ensure free and convenient access to information.
Maintain collections that provide the community with a window to the past and a view to the future.
Connect people with the world of ideas and information by developing and presenting programs that provide opportunities for learning and entertainment.
Cultivate staff who are knowledgeable, passionate, and engaged about the role libraries play in individual lives and the community.

We look forward to welcoming all of you in our physical buildings when the time is right, but in the meantime, please join us as the virtual conversations continue.

Tom Heagney, President, Greenwich Library Board of Trustees
Hilary Martin Lea, Chair, Friends of the Greenwich Library
Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, Director, Greenwich Library


Greenwich Library staff have compiled resources you can use to learn more about systemic racism, injustice, and protest. Participate in the conversation and take action for positive change. Here are a few links to for books and films appropriate for families and adults. We will continue to share relevant resources to support our diverse community.

Against Racism

  • CLICK HERE for resources to learn more and start a conversation about systemic racism, injustice and protest, and take action for positive change.

Let’s Talk about Racism: Books and Films for Families

  • CLICK HERE for juvenile fiction and nonfiction books about racism, protest movements, and social justice in America. Books to start a discussion with young children, as well as standout books for children and teens.

Against Racism for Teens

  • CLICK HERE for books that are meant to help you listen and learn about the systemic racism that pervades our society. Share these books with your teenagers because reading from another perspective is one of the best ways to learn about their experiences.

In response to the increased demand, we’ve made these four books for adults available without any wait time as eBooks on our Digital Library until June 30:

These five important books for preschoolers all the way to teenagers are available as eBooks on Libby with unlimited access (no wait time) through June 30: