The board met on July 1st to discuss our organization’s response to the ongoing movement to combat racial inequality in this country and in our profession. Our conversations were focused on what we can do as a board and what we all need to do as individuals. We resolved to do a couple of things as a board and the librarians in us couldn’t help but share some information as well…
First, there are ongoing efforts to introduce measures to reform AALL itself and we generally are in favor of those efforts and will look for opportunities to show our support formally as a board.
Second, seeing as how we did not as an organization pay out any money towards a scholarship this year, we thought it would be timely and appropriate to donate the amount we budgeted for, $595, to ALA’s Spectrum Scholarship Program, which actively recruits minority students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree and leadership positions within the library profession, see http://www.ala.org/advocacy/spectrum.
Third, the information… As individuals, it is important that we all do some research and learn about how we can affect meaningful change at our institutions. I am always so impressed by our profession when I am able to say: “There’s a libguide for that!” And indeed, the Office of Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has put together a guide with citations and links to resources focused on race, racism, and disrupting whiteness and white supremacy in libraries, see https://www.library.wisc.edu/gwslibrarian/bibliographies/disrupting-whiteness-in-libraries/.
We are nearing the end of the board’s term and soon you’ll see an email asking you to vote for next year’s board in your inbox. So while we couldn’t commit the future board to a course of action, I think our membership should feel confident that this will only be the beginning of the conversation for us as an organization and let’s all make sure to continue doing our part as individuals. Thank you.