On March 11, the American Library Association Executive Board issued a statement in support of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s recent press release condemning anti-Asian violence. The full Executive Board statement follows.
The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) stands in solidarity with the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in recognizing and condemning anti-Asian hate crimes.
The ALA Executive Board affirms APALA’s March 3 statement in which it writes, “Our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities have been deeply impacted by attacks that have caused physical and psychological harm.”
As we mark the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic, the Executive Board acknowledges that many ALA members, library workers, and our library communities are hurting. The injury that anti-Asian hate speech and crime causes perpetuates that pain. Such bias and bigotry are not new, but they have found fertile terrain in a country beset by disinformation, discrimination, xenophobia, Sinophobia, and white supremacy.
The US has seen a wave of anti-Asian language, hate speech, and physical assaults on streets across the country, in media reports, in statements by politicians, and on social media related to the origins of COVID-19. It is our job as knowledge workers to, as APALA urges, join forces “battling discrimination, xenophobia, and white supremacy” and to stand “in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities.”
It is also incumbent upon us as library and information workers to combat cultural bias and bigotry by promoting diversity in our collections, programming, policies, and hiring practices, ensuring that our diverse communities see themselves represented on our library shelves, in our offerings, and among our ranks.
The Executive Board calls on ALA members, library institutions, and library users to join them in publicly condemning anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander racism.