chapter  12
Does this Place Foster Social Equity?
Pages 21

Social equity is a global concern. People live in poverty and in wealth. These differences are often extreme, with many living and working in places that do not provide basic shelter from weather, war, domestic violence, hunger, and disease. Many people have limited access to opportunities that would assist them in improving their own lot. The public library is an institution that stands out in its efforts to foster social equity. Public libraries today are arguably the most equitable of American public institutions. They provide free access to knowledge for all. Schools make a tremendous difference and all too often still reflect the inequities in society. Some children are clever enough to thrive with limited resources, but not all. A visit to schools in different parts of most American cities is often all one needs to understand that school buildings can support or fail to support equity.