In a statement issued May 26, the Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) expressed its support for the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s (APALA) March 13 statement against racism and xenophobia related to the COVID-19 outbreak and in response to a May 15 article in Against the Grain. The full statement reads as follows:
The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in condemning xenophobia and racism.
The ALA Executive Board endorses APALA’s March 13 statement, in which it “unequivocally denounce[d] the rise in racism and xenophobia against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19 (caused by the novel coronavirus).”
The ALA Executive Board recognizes that ALA members, library workers, and our library communities are experiencing bigotry and attacks based on racial and ethnic heritage and we must stand in solidarity to work to stop these acts.
Most recently, an article in Against the Grain, an LIS and trade publication, demonstrated that these acts of racism and xenophobia can come from within our own community. The Executive Board also stands with and endorses APALA and the Chinese American Librarians Association’s May 15 letter to the editor of Against the Grain and thanks both associations for their advocacy and work on behalf of their communities. ALA’s core values support diversity in our nation and libraries, and we have the responsibility to address critical social issues in relationship to our libraries. The Executive Board invites ALA members, library community members, and library institutions to join them in signing APALA’s pledge, demonstrating “Our Commitment to Combating the Rise of Xenophobia and Racism against Asians and Asian/Pacific Americans Due to COVID-19.”