ALA/ARL Approve Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity: A Framework
The Joint ALA/ARL Building Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity Framework Task Force’s final draft of the Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity: A Framework was approved by the boards of directors of the four partner organizations, the American Library Association (ALA), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Public Library Association (PLA), during summer 2022.
The Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity Framework is a tool both theoretical and practical in its orientation, as a guide for developing personal, organizational, institutional, and systems-level knowledge and understanding of the nature of racism and its many manifestations. Racism results in differential, inequitable, and devastating impacts on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) in the library and information science (LIS) sector, the communities libraries serve, and beyond. The framework is not intended to be liberatory practice in itself—an instrument or agent that will abolish racial inequity or a step-by-step guide—but, rather, to provide the grounding needed to effect change in thinking, behavior, and practice that will lead to better outcomes for racialized and minoritized populations. Therefore, while the framework offers examples of implementation, these are not meant to represent an exhaustive list. Although the LIS sector cannot, on its own, solve the problem of racism in society, it can acknowledge the role it has played in contributing to and sustaining systems of inequity and oppression of communities of color, and own the responsibility for countering its effects, both historically and today. And while we acknowledge the global impacts of racism, for the purposes of this framework, we will specifically address the impacts of racism in both the United States and Canada.
ALA President, 2021–2022, Patricia (Patty) Wong, City Librarian, Santa Clara City Library, stated, “The ALA Executive Board enthusiastically supports this framework and is appreciative of this resource that will further equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in libraries. With diversity as an ALA Core Value, this framework is an exemplary tool for ALA to endorse and for the library community to use in support of racial equity policies and practices.”
“This framework represents the collective work of so many thoughtful leaders within our communities,” said ARL President K. Matthew Dames, the Edward H. Arnold Dean, Hesburgh Libraries and University of Notre Dame Press, University of Notre Dame. “At ARL, we are grateful to all who contributed to these efforts and we are excited to incorporate this framework into the various aspects of the work of the Association. Additionally, I am confident that our member institutions will critically explore opportunities to integrate content from this framework into their operations, programs, and services.”
View and download Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity: A Framework. Accompanying professional development is anticipated, and details will be shared when available.
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. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.