ALA, ACRL issue joint statement in support of HBCUs after recent bomb threats

For Immediate Release
Wed, 02/09/2022


Stephanie Hlywak


Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of ALA, have issued the following joint statement in response to incidents of bomb threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs):

"The American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) stand in solidarity with the faculty, students, and staff of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and in particular we voice our support for those whose campuses have recently received bomb threats.

"We especially wish to reach out to our library colleagues whose libraries anchor these important institutions. We lament that racism and the threat of violence continue to plague our colleagues in higher education, places where students, faculty, and workers come to learn and expand understanding. HBCUs do not exist as places apart. They belong to all of higher education and hatred directed towards these schools affects us all. ALA and its more than 49,000 members, including ACRL and its nearly 9,000 members, are united in their support of our fellow library workers at HBCUs."

In releasing the statement, ALA and ACRL support the following statement released by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL):

"The Association of Research Libraries strongly condemns all forms of racially intended violence. The recent targeting of historically Black colleges and universities with bomb threats meant to silence their voices calls on all of us to speak out against racially motivated hate crimes. By spreading fear, intimidation, and misinformation, these acts threaten the very essence of research and learning in a democratic society. As stewards of humanity’s knowledge from the past, present, and future, we will always seek the truth represented in the multitude of contributions, achievements, and lived experiences. We do this by our advocacy for the US Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation; in our coalition work to establish an archive for truth and cultural healing; in our Association work on structural equity and inclusion; and in every aspect of our programs and services. We act and demand that others stand for a more just society. Acts centered in hate such as these can never be acceptable."

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 and Research Libraries
Representing nearly 9,000 individuals and libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the largest 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.

About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) a nonprofit organization of 126 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; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; 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