Racial Equity Resources for Reading and Listening

To Our Public:

One of the reasons I became a librarian is my firmly held belief that libraries are the great societal equalizer, and while we do help many, we are still part of a system of deep-seated racism in our country. We cannot change this alone. As a society, we all need to actively educate ourselves, listen, be willing to change and be decisive to break down barriers for communities of color.

I am proud that the Anchorage Public Library’s strategic plan focuses on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  As part of that work,

  • we eliminated fines so that people can freely use our libraries
  • we are working with community partners to develop programs and dialogues around equity and racism
  • we will highlight our collection for people who want to educate themselves on racism
  • we will work with our community to eliminate racial and social equity barriers in library programs, services, policies and practices

Finally, we were one of the first libraries in the country to sign onto the Urban Library Council, Urban Libraries Council’s Statement on Race and Social Equity

We have a lot of ground to cover, to make our library and country less divided and provide the same opportunities for all.  Please join us in this work.  We can get better…together.

Mary Jo Torgeson, Anchorage Public Library Director


Resources for Kids

The books on the lists below were written for adult and older teenage audiences and may contain graphic and/or traumatic content. Please proceed accordingly.

Popular titles may be available with no waiting on Hoopla.

Getting Started

Helpful books if you’re just getting started on the topic of anti-racism and human rights movements.

Getting Started


Books that offer a deeper diver into systemic racism, social justice movements, and the lives of Black Americans told in their own voices.


Systemic Issues

Materials that analyze specific topics through the lens of race relations and systemic racism.

Systemic Issues