ALA Condemns Threats of Violence in Libraries
For Immediate Release
Deputy Director, Communications
Public Policy & Advocacy
American Library Association
In response to the alarming increase in acts of aggression toward library workers and patrons as reported by press across the country, the American Library Association Executive Board released the following statement:
The American Library Association condemns, in the strongest terms possible, violence, threats of violence and other acts of intimidation increasingly taking place in America’s libraries, particularly those acts that aim to erase the stories and identities of gay, queer, transgender, Black, Indigenous, persons of color, those with disabilities and religious minorities.
ALA stands with our members, all library workers and those who govern libraries who courageously face down threats to their personal and professional well-being because of their efforts to celebrate diversity and foster inclusion in their communities, in the belief that every human being deserves respect and dignity. ALA stands shoulder to shoulder with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues and other library workers who are disproportionately harmed by these attacks. ALA calls upon all library workers to support their colleagues and reaffirm our shared commitment to equity of access to information for all communities.
ALA stands with community members, whom local libraries exist to serve, especially those library users whose stories hatemongers would wish to erase. The message of libraries, and of ALA, is one of welcome for people everywhere who believe in the peaceful exchange of ideas. Libraries are committed to the upholding and defending the core values of inclusion and free and equal access to ideas and information, which are essential to an informed democratic society. Threats of physical harm and harassment are not, and never have been, protected speech.
America’s libraries are there for communities: communities must be there for libraries. ALA calls on community leaders and elected officials to stand with libraries and others who promote the free and democratic exchange of ideas and to stand up to those who would undermine it.