ALA and US library associations affirm commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
For Immediate Release
Communications and Marketing Office
American Library Association
CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) and several library associations in the United States have pledged their commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
ALA, AALL (the American Association of Law Libraries), CNI (the Coalition for Networked Information), ALISE (the Association for Library and Information Science Education), COSLA (the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies), SLA (the Special Libraries Association), the MLA (Medical Library Association) and SAA (the Society of American Archivists have released a joint statement promising to uphold the standards of EDI.
The statement reads, ““Equity, diversity, and inclusion are core values of our associations. We believe that as a profession we must continue to support efforts in building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. As professional organizations, we strive to advance the capacity to identify and remove barriers to equity, diversity, and inclusion relative to all members and patrons with a broad spectrum of best practices, tools, and resources.
“Collaboration between library associations is pivotal to effectively furthering this work.
Libraries serve as the cornerstone of our society. Regardless of the type of library, constituency, or region, we stand together to support the efforts of libraries to provide equitable access for all through inclusive collections, resources, services, and programs.”
In 2017, the ALA adopted EDI as its fourth strategic direction. It confirmed ALA’s commitment across all parts of the library ecosystem to equity, diversity and inclusion in libraries and library services.
ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo said she is delighted with the statement, saying, “I am thrilled that United States library associations have answered my call to affirm our commitment to EDI. As a profession, we have come a long way in creating opportunities to share EDI best practices and resources, but we have a long road ahead of us. This is a significant step in our quest to together create the associations we want as part of the society we deserve.”
EDI was among the Presidential efforts advanced by Garcia-Febo. Those efforts include the possible establishment of an EDI Fellows program in which library workers selected each year will support the work done by ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) by providing trainings and talks about all-things-EDI developed by ALA. The program, which is being explored by ODLOS, was originated within Garcia-Febo’s Diversity Advisory Board as part of her EDI initiatives.
The ALA is encouraging other associations to sign the statement. Please contact Raymond Garcia, communications assistant, ALA Executive Office/Office of ALA Governance, at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a form to sign, scan and return, along with a logo or seal from your 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, 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 ala.org.
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