SRRT is a unit within the American Library Association. It works to make ALA more democratic and to establish progressive priorities not only for the Association, but also for the entire profession. Concern for human and economic rights was an important element in the founding of SRRT and remains an urgent concern today. SRRT believes that libraries and librarians must recognize and help solve social problems and inequities in order to carry out their mandate to work for the common good and bolster democracy.
Since 1969, members of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) have worked to make the American Library Association (ALA) more democratic. They have also worked to promote a more progressive agenda. In doing so, SRRT has provided a home within ALA for progressive librarians, library workers, and supporters who agree to promote social responsibility as a core value of librarianship.
We do our work through programming at ALA midwinter meetings and annual conferences. We also strive to make a difference through ALA Council legislation in the form of resolutions. Our Resolution Archive contains the majority of resolutions SRRT Action Council and SRRT membership have written and passed since 1970.
We also publish the SRRT Newsletter, which has been a constant source of alternative viewpoints on libraries and their role in society since 1969. Visit our Newsletter Archive.
Join the Conversation!
SRRT maintains three listservs through ALA:
- SRRTMEM – Most SRRT members are automatically subscribed to our general announcement list upon joining SRRT, depending on their ALA communications preferences. This is a restricted email list solely used to distribute announcements from ALA and SRRT. Subscribers will generally receive no more than 6-8 emails per year from this list.
- SRRTAC-L – Participation in our official discussion list is optional. This is an active forum for posting activities, information, and news of interest to SRRT members. All SRRT members are invited to participate in this list, and anyone wishing to follow the discussion may subscribe as a read-only member. It is a high-traffic list and subscribers may receive as many as 3-4 emails per day.
- SRRT-ACCOM – SRRT Action Council Members often need to discuss business issues between meetings. This list allows AC members to share information about budgeting, upcoming agenda items, and other information which will help our business meetings flow more smoothly. Membership is limited to the SRRT Action Council.
Manage your list subscriptions by visiting ALA's Mailing List Service Website . First time users of ALA's Mailing List Service or those who have forgotten their login information may obtain a password by clicking the appropriate link on the ALA List Service left-side menu and entering the e-mail address you use to receive your SRRT messages.
SRRT Statement on Racist Aggression at ALA Conferences
February 2, 2019
We at the Social Responsibilities Round Table condemn strongly the incidents of racist behavior that have been reported at the most recent American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, the best known of which is the verbal attack on Councilor-at-Large April Hathcock at a Council Forum on Monday evening, January 28, 2019. Other attendees have reported acts of aggression, exclusion, and racial profiling at this and previous conferences. This ongoing pattern of exclusionary behavior is absolutely unacceptable and completely contrary to our values as both a profession and an organization.
We fully support the action steps outlined by April Hathcock1. We note that in a statement issued on Thursday, January 31st, the ALA Executive Board has made at least some steps towards each of these requests. We urge the ALA Council and the ALA Executive Board to continue to move forward in addressing the concerns of its members. Further, we request that, in the interest of transparency and accountability, the ALA Conference Services Office give regular accounts of incidents of racism, homophobia, and other bigotry reported at conferences.
The change we must see goes beyond simple "diversity": we must take a truly progressive approach to championing anti-racism in our actions. If we are to live up to the directive in the ALA mission statement to "enhance learning and ensure access to information for all,"2 we must do better. We must protect each other, we must respect each other, and we must value each other. If we will not do these things for each other, we cannot do them for our communities.
Charles E. Kratz,
SRRT Action Council Coordinator
Weinberg Memorial Library
The University of Scranton
Scranton, PA 18510