ALA Releases Statement Re: Recent Actions by New Administration
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Full Text of a Statement by the American Library Association:
Today American Library Association President Julie Todaro released the following statement responding to recent actions by the new administration and specifically addressing issues regarding access to information, discrimination and intellectual freedom.
“We are shocked and dismayed by recent executive orders and other actions by the new administration, which stand in stark contrast to the core values of the American Library Association (ALA). Our core values include access to information; confidentiality/privacy; democracy; equity, diversity and inclusion; intellectual freedom; and social responsibility.
“The American Library Association strongly opposes any actions that limit free access to information, undermine privacy or discriminate on any basis. This includes the temporary suspension of visas and entrance to the US based on anyone’s nationality or religion as well as the increased scrutiny of any individual’s communication such as mobile phone and/or social media activity.
“Our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special 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.
“ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination is central to our mission. We will continue to speak out and 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.
“We will continue to speak out and support our members as they work tirelessly for access to library and information resources on behalf of all of their community members, while advocating for privacy, intellectual freedom, critical global research, information literacy, ongoing access to scientific research, and fair and equitable treatment for everyone.
“As our strategic plan states, ‘ALA recognizes the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, housing status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment and housing.’
“We encourage our members to continue to speak out and show their support for and work on behalf of our core values, in their communities as well as with their local, state and national elected and appointed officials. Additionally, ALA has tools and resources online to help you advocate for our core values:
- Advocacy: http://www.ala.org/offices/ola/
- Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services: http://www.ala.org/offices/diversity/
- Government Relations: http://www.ala.org/offices/ogr/
- Information and Technology Policy: http://www.ala.org/offices/oitp/
- Intellectual Freedom: http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/
- Libraries Respond: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/libraries-respond
“ALA is committed to using its national platform for speaking up and speaking out for its members and constituents in these chaotic, unprecedented and challenging times. We appreciate the library community’s continued support.”
See Also: ARL and AAUP Issue Statement Opposing Trump’s Immigration Order
See Also: ACRL Board Of Directors Affirms Commitment To Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Access
See Also: NASIG Releases “Statement of Inclusion”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.