RESPONSE TO YET ANOTHER “LIBRARY WHILE BLACK INCIDENT”

Upon learning of another disheartening incident in which an African American library school student had the police called on her for being in the library which is a public space, I have reached out to the West University library branch to insist that the management implement their unspoken rules in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

I have reached out to Ms. Ashly Horace to encourage her and to inform her that she has… the full support of BCALA. BCALA is actively strategizing ways in which we can help combat the prejudice that Ms. Horace and other library school students have been subjected to. BCALA simply will not tolerate this intolerant behavior.

In response to this and other recent incidents, like Juan Pablo Gonzales, Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA):

  • Condemns unnecessary policing of people of color and other marginalized individuals as such encounters may have unintended, but potentially life-threatening consequences,
  • Refuses to accept discriminatory barriers that exist to discourage and prevent people of color from pursuing their educational and professional goals,
  • Calls on the leadership of ALA, LIS schools and all libraries, to address the campus and organizational culture that allowed for the escalation and involvement of police in these situations, including the on-going training of all student workers, staff, campus police and local police
  • As we did with Mr. Gonzalez, we encourage MS. Horace and all students of color to remain steadfast in the pursuit of his academic and professional endeavors.

Richard E. Ashby, Jr.
President/ Black Caucus American Library Association
[email protected]