ALA and affiliates issue joint statement on libraries and equity, diversity and inclusion

For Immediate Release
Thu, 08/03/2017

Contact:

Heather Cho
Media Relations Specialist
Public Awareness Office
American Library Association
312-280-4020

CHICAGO - Today the American Library Association, The American Indian Library Association, Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Chinese American Librarians Association, REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) and the Joint Council of Librarians of Color issued a joint statement on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are core values of our associations, as we believe that as a profession we must continue to support the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society. On June 27, 2017, the Council of the American Library Association approved a new interpretation of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the ALA Library Bill of Rights. The interpretation (developed by the Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom) reaffirms our shared commitment to the role that libraries of all types – public, academic, school and special – must play in effecting equity, diversity and inclusion in the communities and institutions they serve. It also provides a concrete framework for insuring that every library’s policies and practices, collections and programs reflect these values.

“As organizations, we strive to advance our capacity as a profession to identify and address barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion with a broad spectrum of best practices, tools and resources. In addition to the American Library Association, which has adopted equity, diversity and inclusion as one of four strategic directions, the vital contributions of affiliate organizations including The American Indian Library Association; Asian Pacific American Librarians Association; Black Caucus of the American Library Association; Chinese American Librarians Association; REFORMA (The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking); Joint Council of Librarians of Color, help to further this work.

“All of these organizations, as well as the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, provide resources, in person workshops and webinars, and a network of library peers that offer leadership and support for libraries in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Libraries lead! We must not lose sight of the role libraries and library staff play in promoting mutual understanding through education and lifelong learning. Libraries serve as the cornerstone of our democracy and work to acknowledge the needs of their communities. As our nation increasingly becomes more diverse, so should library collections, staff and our nation’s social consciousness.

“Regardless of the type of library, constituency or represented region, our nation’s library community continues efforts to provide community members with free access to diverse collections, multicultural staff and diverse resources.”

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.