From the American Library Association:
During the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) and the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) launched a new resource, ‘Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons.’
This document, created collaboratively by the two offices, responds to requests and inquiries by ALA members seeking to address a spike in reported hate crimes in libraries across the United States, which the two offices began tracking in 2016. Jody Gray, Director for the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach, and Kristin Lahurd, Assistant Director for Continuing Education and Literacy stated, “Since we began our partnership in looking at hate crimes in libraries, OIF and ODLOS have interwoven our missions, strengths, and expertise to ensure that library workers know and understand their legal obligations and considerations, while also being aware of and responsive to the trauma that impacts their staff and the community.”
These requests and inquiries raised many questions regarding patron behavior as well as questions about the requirements of the First Amendment, and the ‘Hateful Conduct in Libraries’ resource aims to address these complicated issues in a format designed to evolve in response to new controversies and changing conditions.
The ‘Hateful Conduct in Libraries’ resource outlines best practices on how to create environments that discourage hate speech and hateful conduct in the library, example steps of what library workers should do after an incident, and how libraries can better meet community needs.
This document is expected to serve as a living resource with updates from both ALA offices.