CHICAGO — The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is unwavering in its long-standing commitment to promoting the free exchange of different viewpoints and ensuring privacy and confidentiality in academic libraries. We will continue to advocate for and demand diversity, inclusion, equity and access in our college and university libraries.
During the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, the ACRL Board of Directors discussed the transition of power in Washington, D.C. and the responsive protests in support of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, happening in our nation and around the world.
The Board sees this as an opportunity to reaffirm ACRL’s core values – visionary leadership; transformation, new ideas and global perspectives; exemplary service to members; diversity, integrity and transparency; continuous learning; responsible stewardship of resources; the values of higher education; intellectual freedom; the ALA Code of Ethics; and the Library Bill of Rights. These values are essential to academic advancement across the institutions we serve in the United States and abroad.
At a time when many colleges and universities are working to highlight the importance of protecting inclusive learning environments, academic libraries have a critical role to play in creating spaces in which diverse and divergent viewpoints can be shared and exchanged. Our professional expertise is anchored in our ability to identify and make credible resources available to our diverse communities. As instructors, we teach students to critically evaluate information and to seek differing perspectives. As professionals, we readily foster intellectual freedom and promote net neutrality and open access.
The recent disappearance of pages from the White House website and attempts to silence scientists and the media are of serious concern to our Association. We hope that all members of ACRL will join us in reaffirming our commitment to support students, faculty, staff and the public we serve. We are committed to representing many backgrounds and advocating for social justice on campus and in our communities. We oppose actions used to suppress free expression, academic freedom and intellectual freedom in academe and condemn the use of intimidation, harassment, bans on entry to the United States from Muslim-majority countries and violence as means with which to squelch free intellectual inquiry and expression. Together our distinct identities and beliefs reflect the richness of our global society.
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing nearly 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the web at acrl.org, Facebook at facebook.com/ala.acrl and Twitter at @ala_acrl.