ALA Statement on Institutional Racism

June 26, 2020

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On June 26 during ALA Virtual, the American Library Association issued a statement on racism and discrimination within the Association and the library profession. The full statement reads as follows:

The American Library Association (ALA) accepts and acknowledges its role in upholding unjust systems of racism and discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) within the Association and the profession.

We recognize that the founding of our Association was not built on inclusion and equity but instead was built on systemic racism and discrimination in many forms. We also recognize the hurt and harm done to BIPOC library workers and communities due to these racist structures.

We commit to our core values, particularly equity, diversity, and inclusion, and will demonstrate this commitment by reassessing and reevaluating our role in continuing to uphold unjust, harmful systems throughout the Association and the profession. We will include ALA members, ALA staff, and the profession in our movement forward, and we are developing a plan toward becoming the inclusive association we aspire to be. Going forward we commit to the following:

• to engage in dialogue with our members to inform our path forward,

• to continue assessing our governance structure, such as through the Forward Together recommendations, and

• to address the disparities in access to information for BIPOC.

We take responsibility for our past and pledge to build a more equitable association and library community for future generations of library workers and supporters.


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