Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc.
Statement Condemning Disproportionate Dismissal of Black and Persons of Color Staff Members
[NEW YORK, NY, September 20, 2020] – The Black Caucus of The American Library Association has a long history of supporting Black library staff and Black library patrons. BCALA strongly condemns the disproportionate dismissal of large groups of Black Library staff. Many library systems are facing serious budgetary constraints. Tough decisions must be made during this challenging economic time in our country. However, the brunt of these budgetary adjustments should not be borne by Black staff members. It is imperative that library systems around our country diversify their staff at every level, entry to executive.
We encourage members of BCALA and citizens to take an active interest in the governance of their local library system by:
- Attending library board meetings.
- Encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in hiring and retention.
- Monitoring DEI initiatives to see if adequate progress is being made.
- Using vlogs, blogs, and other social media platforms.
- Initiating letter-writing campaigns.
- Running for a seat on the library board.
- Attending library policy-making meetings in your area to make your opinions known.
- Encouraging adequate funding for public and school libraries in your area.
BCALA stands firm in its condemnation of the systematic social injustices of Black people and People of Color. It is necessary for the membership to be proactive when someone in our community is harmed either physically or by the loss of their livelihoods. It is vital for us to work to counter racism against Black men and women. The systemic machinery of racism does not sleep and neither should we in our efforts to counter it.
For more information, visit the BCALA web site at https://www.bcala.org.
About the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)
BCALA serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation’s African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.
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