The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) wishes to extend sincere sympathies to the families, coworkers, and friends of the victims of this week’s shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in Clovis, New Mexico.
According to news reports, our field lost two great and dedicated workers: 61-year-old circulation assistant Wanda Walters and 48-year-old youth services librarian Kristina Carter. Also injured was 30-year-old circulation assistant Jessica Thron. Three patrons were also injured in the attack, which was allegedly perpetrated by a 16-year-old high school student. The teen, not named here in an effort to deny him any additional notoriety, was taken alive by law enforcement officers after surrendering.
“The two lives lost were our colleagues and two people who worked each day to enhance the quality of life for people in the Clovis, New Mexico community,” BCALA President Denyvetta Davis said. “When a librarian or library worker is harmed on duty anywhere in the country, it is painful to all of us.”
Safety in public spaces continues to be a concern throughout the nation, with libraries being no exception. BCALA applauds the ongoing efforts of the American Library Association to offer resources to libraries on how to provide the safest possible facilities and experiences to their communities. ALA links to some of these resources in their press release regarding the shooting, which is here: http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2017/08/ala-offers-support-clovis-carver-public-library-wake-shooting.
“We do want to assure the public that libraries throughout the nation are doing active shooter preparedness drills and constantly reviewing and updating emergency plans,” Davis said. “Safety of staff and patrons is a top priority for all libraries.”
Learn more about BCALA at www.bcala.org