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Library Associations Pledge to Address Racism

February 4, 2019
 
 

The American Library Association’s treatment of a black librarian who complained after a white colleague directed hostile comments at her at a recent ALA meeting has prompted a difficult discussion about racism in the library profession.

Several library associations issued statements last week reaffirming their commitments to equality and diversity. The statements also highlight that much work needs to be done in these areas.

The Association of Research Libraries emailed a statement to its members Friday, saying, “The harassment and intimidation that occurred during the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting should be of grave concern to all in the profession.

“We, as a society and a profession, are far from truly realizing the vision of racial equity that so many desire and that must be a core principle if we are to be a just and equitable society,” the ARL statement said.

The Association of College and Research Libraries Board of Directors also published a statement last week, which stated that the association "also has work to do to address systemic racism and oppressive practices."

“Our profession needs to talk about the way that racism and systems that privilege whiteness have permeated our profession and our professional events,” the ACRL statement said.

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