During the inaugural ALA Virtual Event this week, American Library Association (ALA) Executive Director Tracie D. Hall issued a strong challenge for our nation’s librarians, library professionals and library supporters, calling for support of a workforce that reflects a diverse client base, universal digital access, and a deeper financial commitment to libraries.
Hall outlined a three-pronged platform of priorities for library advocates, including universal broadband, rapid diversification of the library and information services field, and a commitment from local and federal governments and public and private funders to broaden the philanthropic infrastructure of libraries.
Underlying these three priorities, she said, is the guiding principle of justice.
“Let our legacy be justice,” said Hall, who, in January, was named ALA’s first female African American executive director in ALA’s history. “When I say let our legacy be justice, I am inviting us to explore the construct of the library as both the vehicle and driver of justice, as both a means to justice and an arbiter.”
“It is clear that the work of dismantling racism is overdue in our society and in library and information services. Racism, bigotry, and bias threaten the reach and impact of our field and the full promise and potential of an equitably informed public. It cannot abide,” said Hall.
She also stressed the need for financial support for all types of libraries – school, public, college and university libraries – to prepare the leaders and problem solvers of tomorrow.
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