The American Library Association promotes equal access to information for all persons and recognizes the urgent need to respond to the increasing awareness of diversity among Americans. African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Pacific Americans, Native Americans, individuals with disabilities and other minorities have critical and increasing needs for information and library access. They are affected by a combination of limitations including illiteracy, language barriers, economic distress, cultural isolation, and physical and attitudinal barriers and discrimination in education, employment, and housing. Therefore, the role played by libraries to enable minorities to participate fully in a democratic society is crucial. Libraries must utilize multivariate resources and strategies to empower minority people. Concrete programs of recruitment, training, development, and upward mobility are needed in order to increase and retain minority personnel within librarianship. Within the American Library Association, the coordinating mechanisms for programs and activities dealing with minorities in various ALA divisions, offices, and units should be strengthened, and support for minority liaison activities should be enhanced.
60.1 Policy Objectives
The American Library Association shall implement these objectives by:
- Promoting the removal of all barriers to library and information services, particularly fee charges and language barriers.
- Promoting the publication, production, and purchase of print and nonprint materials that present positive role models of cultural minorities.
- Promoting full funding for existing legislative programs in support of minority education and training, and to explore alternative funding sources for scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships to encourage minority recruitment into librarianship.
- Promoting training opportunities for librarians, including minorities, in order to teach effective techniques for generating tripartite public funding for upgrading library services to minorities.
- Promoting the incorporation of minority programs and services into the regular library budgets in all types of libraries, rather than the tendency to support these activities solely from "soft monies" such as private grants or federal monies.
- Promoting equity in funding adequate library services for minority populations, in terms of professional and nonprofessional personnel, materials, resources, facilities, and equipment.
- Promoting supplemental support for library resources on cultural minorities by urging local, state, and federal government, and the private sector, to provide adequate funding.
- Promoting increased public awareness of the importance of library resources and services in all segments of society, especially in minority communities.
- Promoting the determination of output measures through the encouragement of community needs assessments, giving special emphasis to assessing the needs of cultural minorities.
- Promoting increased staff development opportunities and upward mobility for minority librarians.
(See 1.3-A and "Current Reference File": Equity at Issue [1985-86 CD #30] adopted by Council June 1986.)
60.2 Combating Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination
The American Library Association actively commits its prestige and resources to a coordinated action program that will combat prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination against individuals and groups in the library profession and in library service because of race, sex, sexual orientation, creed, color, national origin or disability.
Nothing in the Resolution on Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination authorizes censoring, expurgation, or labeling of materials. Actions and programs to raise the awareness of library users to any problem or condition would not be in conflict with the Library Bill of Rights when they are free of any element of advocacy. Both documents respect the rights of all who use libraries to do so freely and without being subjected to any pressures from any sources within the institution.
(See "Current Reference File" for full Resolution on Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, a revision of the Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness.)
60.3 Goals for Indian Library and Information Services
The American Library Association and the National Indian Education Association support guidelines designed to meet the informational needs and to purvey and promote the rich cultural heritage of American Indians.
- All library and information services must show sensitivity to cultural and social components existent in individual Indian communities.
- Indian representation through appointment to local boards and creation of local advisory committees concerning service to and about American Indians are essential for healthy, viable programs.
- Materials which meet informational and educational needs and which present a bicultural view of history and culture must be provided in appropriate formats, quality, and quantity to meet current and future needs.
- Library programs, outreach and delivery systems must be created which will insure rapid access to information in a manner compatible with the community's cultural milieu.
- American Indian personnel trained for positions of responsibility are essential to the success of any program.
- Continuing funding sources for library and information services must be developed.
(See "Current Reference File" for full adopted text.)
60.4 Library Education to Meet the Needs of Spanish-Speaking People
The American Library Association will take steps through its Committee on Accreditation to encourage graduate library schools seeking accreditation or reaccreditation to assure that course content reflects the cultural heritage and needs of the Spanish-speaking people of the United States and will encourage such schools to include bilingual/bicultural persons on their faculties.
60.5 Ethnic and Cultural Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in State, Municipal, and County Agencies
The American Library Association urges and supports the recruiting, hiring, and promotion of ethnic and cultural minorities and persons with disabilities within the state, municipal, and county library structure, especially in the areas of administration and consultation.
(See "Current Reference File": 1989-90 CD #98. See also 53.1.11, 54.3, 54.3.1, 56.2.)
60.6 Library and Information Services to Asian Americans
The American Library Association urges libraries serving Asian Americans to commit themselves to the following guidelines.
- Asian-language materials must be provided to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of Asian Americans and Asian immigrants.
- English-language materials and programs that promote an understanding of Asian culture among English-speaking Americans should be an important part of library services.
- Awareness of Asian culture must be stressed among library staff in order to ensure equitable services to Asian residents in the community.
- Asian Americans who are bilingual must be recruited to the library profession in order to better serve new Asian immigrants.
- Asian American librarians should be encouraged to take an active role in the American Library Association and other professional organizations in order to ensure the development and enhancement of library services to Asian Americans.