ACRL, ARL, ODLOS, and PLA announce joint cultural competencies task force

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/18/2020


Allison Payne

Program Manager for Strategic Initiatives


CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), and the Public Library Association (PLA) announce the formation of the Building Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity Framework Task Force. 

The task force is charged to create a framework for cultural proficiencies in racial equity that can be used in public and academic libraries through:

  • Scanning the environment, including review of relevant documents (e.g., ACRL Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries) to identify literature and similar statements and frameworks related to racial equity;
  • Drafting the framework;
  • Seeking comment from stakeholders and the library community on the draft, and revising as needed.

The task force includes the following members: 

  • Jennifer Garrett (co-convener), Director, Talent Management, NC State University Libraries
  • Marcela Y. Isuster (co-convener), Liaison Librarian, McGill University
  • Tatiana Bryant, Assistant Professor, Engagement and Inclusion Librarian, Adelphi University
  • Kristyn Caragher, Assistant Professor & Reference and Liaison Librarian (STEM), University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • Jay Dela Cruz, Library Manager, Queens Public Library
  • Andrew Harbison, Assistant Director - Collections & Access, The Seattle Public Library 
  • Beatriz Hardy, Dean of Libraries and Instructional Resources, Salisbury University
  • Lars Klint, Acquisitions Manager, Harvard Library
  • John Edward Martin, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of North Texas Libraries
  • Pamela McCarter, Equity Initiative Leader, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
  • Teresa Helena Moreno, Librarian and Undergraduate Engagement Program Coordinator, University of Illinois, Richard J. Daley Library
  • Cecilia Salvatore, Professor, Dominican University/School of Information Studies 

The task force will be facilitated by Dr. Katherine Skinner, Executive Director, Educopia Institute, and will have the expertise of Kristin Lahurd, ODLOS Interim Director; Mark A. Puente, ARL Senior Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs, with support from Scott Allen PLA Deputy Director, Operations; Allison Payne, ACRL Program Manager for Strategic Initiatives; and Gwendolyn Prellwitz, ODLOS Assistant Director for Recruitment and Retention. 

The task force will circulate drafts of the framework for public comment and revise as appropriate before submitting a final document to the associations. Requests for comments will be communicated widely through each of the four associations’ communication channels. The timeline will include requests for comments in spring 2021, with the final document expected in summer 2021.   


About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit

About the Association of College & Research Libraries
The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for academic libraries and library workers. Representing nearly 10,000 individuals and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and creating diverse and inclusive communities. Find ACRL on the webFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at

About the Public Library Association
The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 10,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or