Traditionally, the library and information science profession have been predominately white. Even in diverse communities, library professionals do not always reflect the populations they serve. Therefore it is essential that library and information science professionals serve their communities as allies. So, what exactly is an ally?
The word ally comes from Middle French and means ‘to bind together.’ An ally is one who recognizes their unearned systemic privilege from societal injustice and works to change these patterns of injustice. Consciously and actively, allies bind themselves to those who society has marginalized and disenfranchised to work towards battling oppression in a fight towards equality and equity. In the library and information science field, white allyship means working to combat racism through the elimination of micro- aggressions, de-centering power and privilege, and facilitating inclusive conversations with the profession and to those we serve.Education is a key part of becoming a stronger ally. Below are some resources guides for becoming an ally.
Resources for Allies
- What is an ally? This is a comprehensive guide for allies.
- Allyship - This is a two-page, printable guide on privilege and allyship from Oberlin College.
- How to be an ally- Dufferin Diversity Network’s guide to being an ally.
- Understanding Micro-Aggressions- A comprehensive guide for libraries.
For more information, please contact:
ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, Illinois 60611
1-800-545-2433 ext. 4294