American Library Association Statement on Libraries, Diversity and Inclusion
November 22, 2016
On Tuesday, November 15, American Library Association President Julie Todaro released this statement "regarding the invaluable role libraries and librarians will play within their communities as many search for common ground after the election":
"After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. From children acting out in schools to adults participating in violent acts, it is clear that our nation is struggling in the wake of this election.
"During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds and promote inclusion and diversity.
"As an association representing these libraries, librarians and library workers, ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. We will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work."