Minitex is due to undertake a new strategic planning effort, and the timing couldn't be more fitting. It's hard to overstate the impact COVID-19 has had on our organization. Our work has changed in ways that will outlast the current pandemic. Even so, the lessons taught by the murder of George Floyd and the drive for social justice that has followed in its wake, are even more important.
According to our current mission statement, "We connect libraries and individuals with information, ideas, and experiences to enrich lives and strengthen our communities." These are laudable goals, but we need to set our sights higher, and work harder, to serve all libraries, all communities, and all Minnesotans. We have to listen more, elevate historically underrepresented perspectives, and incorporate them in our planning. Library services exist to improve the lives of our communities. We want to be a force enabling library staff to make that difference.
We all have a lot to learn. We'll be participating in the second edition of the One Book | One Minnesota book club that began this week with "A Good Time for the Truth," edited by Sun Yung Shin, and we're proud to offer the book to every Minnesotan via our online ebook collection, Ebooks Minnesota. Each of the book's sixteen chapters provides a unique perspective on the experience of life in Minnesota as a person of color.
We started the strategic planning conversation at our most recent Policy Advisory Council meeting on June 12, and continued it in an all-hands meeting this week, but the conversation isn't done. In order to succeed, we need to incorporate more voices, more perspectives. If you'd like to be one of them, I want to hear from you.