Libraries Respond: Hate Crimes and Libraries

Libraries Respond

The Hate Groups and Violence in Libraries resource focuses on responding to and preventing violence in libraries. This resource: Libraries Respond: Hate Crimes and Libraries resource addressed actions of how to respond to hate-motivated incidents in libraries.

What are Hate Crimes?

The Department of Justice aggressively prosecutes hate crimes, which include acts of physical harm and specific criminal threats motivated by animus based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Hate crimes have a devastating effect beyond the harm inflicted on any one victim. They reverberate through families, communities, and the entire nation, as others fear that they too could be threatened, attacked, or forced from their homes, because of what they look like, who they are, where they worship, whom they love, or whether they have a disability.

Hate Crimes Defined by the Department of Justice

Reporting Hate Crimes and Hate Speech

ALA's Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) works in close coordination with the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) to respond to incidents that have been reported, as well as units across the Association and its affiliates as needed. However, if library staff have encountered hate speech that may not be defined as a crime, we acknowledge that the impact can be traumatizing. We encourage you to reach out to ODLOS at

Hate crimes can be reported on the OIF Challenge Reporting form


Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) 

"...However, respectful dialogue and inquiry differs from harmful actions. Many in our communities have experienced threats, vandalism, hate crimes, acts of racism, and violence. LLAMA condemns and deplores this bigotry and violence, and we call on library leaders and managers to do the same. LLAMA exists to serve our members and the profession, and we are committed to the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, both within our organization and our institutions. Where these values are challenged in the years ahead, we will stand in loud opposition and join with others who do as well. We urge you, as our members, to stand with us." (Read full statement

ALA Resources

Other Resources

  • Whole Person Librarianship -a site from  Sara Zettervall dedicated to the practice of psychosocial practice in librarianship
  • Trauma-Informed Services in the Library - A page created by Alicia Doktor with contributions from a dedicated group of librarians to help other librarian professionals better understand the effects of trauma on society and how it impacts library services.
  • Documenting Hate News Index- This page lists media reports, collected by Google News, about hate crimes and bias incidents. A partnership between ProPublica and Google News Lab.

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