Our students are returning next week. The reprehensible events in Charlottesville, Virginia may be a part of the conversations they will want to have with faculty and staff. The statement I am including from Jim Neal, American Library Association President, represents my feelings on those inexcusable events. As Jim says, as a library community, ‘we must continue to support the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society.’ I am proud to be part of that library community.
STATEMENT FROM ALA PRESIDENT, JIM NEAL:
The American Library Association expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost and injured during this weekend’s protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will not forget their efforts to enlighten and safeguard their communities from bigotry while opposing racist, anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, and anti-Semitic violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of Virginia as well as anyone who protests hate and fights for equity, diversity and inclusion.
The vile and racist actions and messages of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are in stark opposition to the ALA’s core values. No matter the venue or the circumstance, we condemn any form of intimidation or discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our differences should be celebrated, and mutual respect and understanding should serve as the norms within our society.
The ALA supports voices of hope as such actions mirror the library community’s efforts to abolish bigotry and cultural invisibility. As we recently stated, ‘we must continue to support the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society,’ and we will do this through the work of our members and through resources such as Libraries Respond. *
*The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has created Libraries Respond as a space for us to help keep current events in conversation with libraries’ ongoing work in and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This page will be a resource for the library community to share information, find resources, and connect as they serve their communities.
Link to ALA statement above [with additional links to resources and organizations within ALA]