CHICAGO – To help libraries meet the information needs of their communities during these challenging times, the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) has created Libraries Respond (www.ala.org/librariesrespond), a comprehensive online resource that aims to keep current events in conversation with libraries' ongoing work in and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
Recent developments in the United States have jeopardized the status of immigrants and refugees, sought to reverse hard-won civil rights protections of GLBTQ people and threatened the rights of indigenous Americans. These circumstances have provided libraries with challenges and opportunities to share timely and relevant information, as well as added pressure and stress on library staff.
“Libraries serve all people,” said ODLOS Director Jody Gray. “Libraries connect our communities with resources and information needed to be informed citizens and take action. The #librariesrespond hashtag was created so library workers could share their resources quickly as issues arose. The website is an extension of this idea. We want to share resources quickly with our library community so they can be responsive to the communities they serve.”
Resources featured on Libraries Respond include:
- Focused topic areas including the 2016 Election, the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NODAPL), immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and protections for our nation’s transgender students
- Official statements from ALA leadership and its divisions and affiliate organizations
- News coverage of libraries’ response to current events
- Resources developed by librarians in the field
- “10 Things Your Library Can Do for 2017 and Beyond,” a quick-reference guide
- Self-care tips for frontline library staff
Libraries Respond will be updated continuously by ODLOS as current issues develop and new situations arise. To learn more, please visit www.ala.org/librariesrespond.
The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services supports library and information science workers in creating safe, responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. To accomplish this, we decenter power and privilege by facilitating conversations around access and identity as they impact the profession and those we serve. We use a social justice framework to inform library and information science workers' development of resources. We strive to create an association culture where these concerns are incorporated into everybody's everyday work.