May 17, 2022

A Message from the ARL President: Centering Our Values in Defense of Democracy and Social Justice

From the Association of Research Libraries:

Like many of you, I was horrified to see the storming of the US Capitol during one of the most pivotal times in the democratic process.  The nation and truly the world remain stunned that this would even be possible.  Some members of the ARL community were directly impacted by the violence and chaos.  We all must give greater attention to the inequitable nature of our democracy as we enter a period leading up to the transition of power.

During the summer of 2020, the nation watched in horror as peaceful protesters against police brutality were met with attacks and mass arrests. In response, ARL further prioritized anti-racism and the advancement of “inclusive development, expression, sharing, and preservation of knowledge” within our guiding principles. The violence, racism, and blatant double standards that took place this week at the Capitol were direct threats to democracy and serve as another wake-up call concerning why our mission and guiding principles matter so much.

Democracy depends on an informed, diverse, and anti-racist society. As our vision statement upholds, ARL will “enable and catalyze research libraries to leverage and mobilize individual assets toward the collective advancement of learning, research, and societal impact, including advocacy and action to foster values of anti-racism, equity, and inclusion in their respective communities and beyond.”

John P. Culshaw,
President, Association of Research Libraries

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.