For immediate release | June 8, 2015

Joint Council of Librarians of Color forms as non-profit organization

CHICAGO — The five ethnic affiliates of the American Library Association have collaborated to officially form the Joint Council of Librarians of Color, Inc.(JCLC Inc.), a nonprofit organization that advocates for and addresses the common needs of the ethnic affiliates.

Coming together through JCLC Inc. are the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and REFORMA: The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. These five organizations each have a decades-long tradition of promoting the library and information needs of their constituent communities through various endeavors, including providing scholarships for students, awarding grants to libraries for cultural programing, acquiring and donating relevant library materials and advising ALA and other professional organizations of constituent concerns.

The newly formed nonprofit follows and takes its name from two successful joint conferences co-sponsored by these organizations; the first held in 2006 in Dallas and the second in 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. Serving as the first officers for the Joint Council are Dr. Jerome Offord, Jr. as president, Dr. Kenneth Yamashita as vice president, Dora Ho as treasurer, Heather Devine-Hardy as secretary and Isabel Espinal as director at large.

“The JCLC concept was just too powerful not to establish an organization that could keep it going strongly forward,” Offord said. “When our organizations come together as a united front and put our energies and numbers together, we are better able to confront and address certain critical issues. We believe there is great power in this unity.”

JCLC Inc.’s official purpose statement is: “To promote librarianship within communities of color, support literacy and the preservation of history and cultural heritage, collaborate on common issues, and to host the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color every four to five years.”

JCLC Inc. has not yet established its Web presence, but each member organization has a web site where the public can find more information: BCALA (, CALA (, APALA (, AILA ( and REFORMA (

More updates regarding JCLC will be forthcoming.

Media contact:

Jerome Offord, Ph.D.



Cheryl Malden

Program Officer