Statement on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

YALSA strives to be inclusive of a range of libraries and youth-serving organizations within a variety of geographic locations. YALSA further commits to being inclusive of representation from diverse cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds, professional skill and experience levels, economic statuses, ages, ideologies, gender, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are ideals that the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) seeks to affirm in all facets of the organization. As a professional organization dedicated to enhancing library services for and with teens, YALSA recognizes that all teens, and particularly teens of color and those from other groups that have been historically oppressed based on factors including but not limited to ability, class, gender identity, race, and religion, need and deserve to see themselves reflected in the library staffing, policies, signage, web site content and much more. Therefore, YALSA seeks to address the cultural mismatch between today’s increasingly diverse teen population and the librarian workforce, which remains overwhelmingly white and female.

Although achieving greater representational diversity is an important component of YALSA’s EDI goals, there are two equally important issues that the YALSA is committed to redressing on an institutional level: equity and inclusion. Attending to issues of equity and inclusion are important because they help move the organization away from mere platitudes about diversity and demand measurable actions to redress the systemic power asymmetries that have kept certain groups of people on the periphery of the organization. When YALSA attends to inequities in the organization, there is a direct benefit to all of the nation’s teens library staff are charged with serving who are more apt to feel included and empowered in library and information spaces, both physically and virtually.

Further, YALSA affirms and supports the American Library Association’s (ALA) EDI related policies, as outlined in the ALA Policv Manual, sections B3 through B8.

--adopted by the Board of Directors, June 18, 2016 and expanded June 23, 2018

Back to the YALSA Handbook

Further Resources