ALA Council resolutions respond to racism and gun violence

For Immediate Release
Mon, 07/13/2015


JoAnne Kempf

Director, Office of ALA Governance

Office of ALA Governance

CHICAGO — At the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco, the ALA Council passed three resolutions relating to the June 17, 2015 shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The first resolution denouncing the systemic racism that motivated the shootings recognizes the hidden, endemic and pervasive nature of systemic racism in American culture and resolves that the American Library Association will strengthen and prioritize its own efforts to support diversity and foster cultural understanding and humility within the library profession and will work with other professional associations to enable library staff and information organizations to expand the collective understanding of the hidden, systemic nature of racism in American culture and its potential for violence.  In the resolution, Council notes that the death of Cynthia G. Hurd, manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library Branch of the Charleston County Public Library system, who was among the nine individuals killed, exemplifies the connection between the library profession and the community and this systemic racism. 

A second resolution addresses gun violence and notes that the safety and security of all communities served by libraries across the United States are constantly threatened by unexpected and potentially lethal gun violence.  The resolution affirms that the ALA will work with state chapters and affiliates to support legislation that allows the prohibition of the carrying of guns in or near libraries and other educational institutions.

In a third resolution, the ALA endorses the Statement from the Movement for Black Lives on the Charleston Shooting, which was issued on Friday, June 19, 2015. 

The full text of these resolutions can be found on the ALA website.