Marriott Library Book Defacement


Current Status:
Resolved

Although we believe this situation has been addressed in a way that should prevent future reoccurrence, those who believe they have been the target of bias, intolerance or discrimination may report an incident to the public incident report form (bias and intolerance) or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (sexual misconduct and discrimination).

Please direct any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident to the Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

What happened

On Jan. 19, 2022, an unknown library patron returned a children’s picture book, “A Drop of Blood,” by Paul Showers, to the Information Desk at the Marriott Library. The book was used in the library and not checked out to the person who returned it. A library staff member looked through the book at the desk prior to it being re-shelved and noticed several comments written in pencil in the book. Not all the written comments were biased in nature, but one of the comments was related to gender, one to race and one was sexual in nature. The book was pulled from circulation and not reshelved. It is unknown how long the written comments were in the book, or whether the person who returned the book to the desk was the person who wrote the comments.

What is being done

The book was removed from circulation. The library will continue its practice of inspecting books when they are returned prior to reshelving them.

If through the course of some review or investigation (by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action or other appropriate investigative body) any university community members are identified as having perpetrated this defacement, the Office of the Dean of Students, Human Resources, or other appropriate leader will act within university policy designed to hold the individual(s) accountable and provide additional education about the harm caused to the community by this type of behavior.

Due to various privacy laws, including FERPA, the university is limited in what information can be shared regarding the individual(s) involved and/or specific outcomes related to any disciplinary sanctions in the event someone is identified as responsible for this behavior. However, updates and more information about the status of the incident will be shared, if possible.

What to do

Be vigilant and speak up. If you see someone marking in a library book or otherwise engaging in vandalism, notify a university official.

If you are interested in learning more about the variety of resources the U offers to support diversity and inclusion, please visit the Office of the Dean of Students in the Union Building, Room 270, deanofstudents@utah.edu, 801-581-7066, or the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Park Building, Room 208, or VPEDI@utah.edu . To learn more about resources available to university residents related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, visit the Equity Lounge. To make a report of a racist or bias incident, visit the public reporting form

The U is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion

The words written remind us that a racist and genderist past are still with us today.

While we will not tolerate such behavior, when actions are undertaken covertly, we cannot stop them in the moment. What we can do—and what we will do—is build our muscles against bias, microaggression, and discrimination in all its forms. We are committed to naming these harmful acts, investigating, and holding the perpetrators accountable when they are identified.  Additionally, we will proactively implement efforts that uplift and celebrate our communities as we witness an increasing number of racist acts on our campuses across the nation.

We will not allow a cowardly act to further divide us or make us fear one another. This is the time to draw together and call out these acts when we see them and work toward a meaningful cultural shift. This work will be one of the foci of the newly announced Presidential Commission on Equity and Belonging.

Questions & Concerns

For any questions or concerns in regard to this bias incident, please contact Brian Jay Nicholls, Special Assistant to the Chief Safety Officer, at RBIresponse@utah.edu.

For additional reporting information, please feel free to visit here.

Response process
Support Resources

If you are currently in a situation where immediate medical, police or other emergency services are needed, call 911 or University Emergency Communications at 801-585-2677 (801-585-COPS). To file a complaint regarding discrimination or sexual harassment, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (OEO/AA) at 801-581-8365.

Support & resources
Report a Bias Incident

Any act of intolerance, motivated wholly or in part by bias or prejudice against an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, age, religion, size, disability, national origin, language, gender, veteran status, identity expression, sexual orientation or age—regardless of severity—can be reported using this form.

Submit a report