Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Special Considerations & Resources

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Special Considerations | Resources for Further Development


Special Considerations

Academic/Research Libraries

  • Academic libraries may have collections of hate materials that are used for archival or research purposes. For example, Brown University Library maintains a collection of over 168,000 pieces of right and left wing U.S. extremist propaganda.

Public Libraries

  • Public libraries may look to resources on services in urban areas or homelessness that offer additional guidance on not over-policing children of color or economically disenfranchised patrons.

School Libraries

  • Many schools have a stronger restriction on student behavior with additional policies that address bullying and hate speech. Often times there is zero tolerance of hate speech or offensive language including representation on clothing or presented in school work that can result in extreme disciplinary actions.


Resources for Further Development

Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures Regarding User Behavior and Library Usage
By ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee
These guidelines, based upon constitutional principles, were crafted to help develop policies and procedures governing the use of publicly supported library facilities.

Hate Crime Resources” (2017)
By ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
This guide centers on resources for responding to the emotional trauma caused by a hate crime.

Libraries Respond: Hate Crimes in Libraries” (2017)
By ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
This resource addressed actions of how to respond to hate-motivated incidents in libraries.

Libraries Respond: Hate Groups and Violence in Libraries” (2017)
By ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
This resource focuses on responding to and preventing violence in libraries.

ODLOS Continuing Education Offerings (ongoing)
By ALA Office for Diversity Literacy, and Outreach Services
Webinars, workshops, and consultative services offered by ALA ODLOS that support library and information science workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community.

Hate Speech and Hate Crime” (2018)
By ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
This resource outlines legal cases and definitions of hate speech, hate crime, and hateful conduct. It also provides links to publications and ALA statements for further research.

Intellectual Freedom eLearning
By ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
These webinars delve into a variety of intellectual freedom topics, including free speech, censorship, advocacy, controversial speakers, privacy, internet filtering, and access to resources.

“Diversity and Inclusion” SPEC Kit 356 (2017)
By Toni Anaya and Charlene Maxey-Harris
This kit includes information on trends, best practices, and strategies aimed at recruiting and retaining a more diverse workforce within academic libraries.

So You’ve Been Doxed: A Guide to Best Practices” (2015)
By Crash Overdrive Network
This tumblr post is a review of the realities, pathology, and solutions for incidents when someone’s private information is released to the public.

Recommendations for Supporting Trans and Queer Students of Color” (2016)
By LGBTCampus.org
This document discusses the historical context of cultural centers and LGBTQ+ centers on college campuses. It explores other barriers to collaboration including a lack of awareness around race/racism/whiteness in LGBTQ+ spaces, as well as a lack of awareness around sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in multicultural center spaces.This document’s format served as a template for “Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons.”

Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries” (2018)
By Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity
This issue brief provides a framework for implementation by highlighting strategies public libraries are using to advance racial equity.

Social Justice Terminology” (2018)
By Suffolk University
This glossary provides brief definitions of a longer list of terms related to social justice and activism.

Trauma Is Always Political: Social Context in Trauma-Informed Practice” (2018)
By David Treleaven, eomega.org
This post, adapted from Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing by David Treleaven, outlines how traumatic events happen in a social context, and how to create a sense of safety through awareness.

"Confronting White Nationalism in Schools" (2019)
By Western States Center
This toolkit focuses on case studies and scenarios in which white nationalism may show up in educational settings, and sample responses. It features ways that school libraries and librarians may work with educators, administration, and parents on combating hateful conduct. 


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Updated April 2020