CHICAGO—In light of reports of incidents of harassing, discriminatory and racist behavior that occurred at the 2019 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Board offers its support to the individuals who were the targets of such behavior and affirms the statement from the ALA Executive Board in its denunciation of such behavior, as well as its call to uphold ALA’s Statement of Appropriate Conduct.
In particular, ALCTS supports the goals in the Executive Board Statement to provide resources and training on equity, diversity and inclusion for all members and to apply a social justice framework to the ALA Strategic Directions. We hope to work with ALA to strengthen and improve the Statement of Appropriate Conduct and ensure its enforcement. ALCTS also recognizes that words are not enough for this situation and must be transformed into action.
ALCTS will review its own activities, both online and in-person, to determine what changes should be made to bring our actions in line with our rhetoric. ALCTS is engaged in supporting equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives through work such as developing a code of ethics for cataloging, supporting the preservation needs of cultural heritage institutions through Preservation in Action, providing grants for library professionals from developing countries to attend ALCTS online courses, supporting ALA Spectrum Scholars, and providing people from underrepresented groups with awards to attend the ALA Annual Conference. Our current activities, however, are just a starting point. Our new strategic plan, currently in draft form, includes explicit support for equity, diversity and inclusion as a core objective, promulgating the importance of EDI to all levels and activities within ALCTS. ALCTS will invest financial resources to put the commitments of the ALCTS strategic plan and this statement into action. We believe in the adage that every budget is a moral document—it is both practically and symbolically important that we put money behind our work in this area.
Education and empowerment are key components of the work going forward. We will highlight the Statement of Appropriate Conduct at all ALCTS meetings, we will ensure that participants are able to contact designated ALCTS EDI resource representatives in case of conduct violations, and we will provide training to ALCTS leaders to help them become skilled meeting facilitators who can intercede when behavior becomes problematic. In addition to strengthening our own division’s support for EDI, we will pursue collaborations and partnerships with other ALA divisions and offices in support of these goals, including working with LITA and LLAMA to develop bystander/allyship webinars and other training.
ALCTS remains committed to improving equity, diversity and inclusion within the profession and within the Association and to eliminating incidents of harassment, racism and discrimination. This statement serves to reaffirm and redouble our efforts in this area.
The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.