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ALAO Anti-Racism Statement

DEIA = Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Context: Many libraries, institutions, and organizations have created antiracism statements. ALAO is intentionally putting forth this statement at this time with a desire for it to serve as a community document, subject to suggestions, revisions, and change over time. The statement itself will not change unjust systems – however, we hope that by presenting it as a call to action, it can serve as a driver of change. The statement is short, and we did not spend a lot of time developing it, because we want to use our time to implement the actions that it is meant to inspire. We acknowledge that it is imperfect. We expect and hope that other Ohio library workers will contribute to it.

We center the experience and DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) statements developed by library workers of color:

We acknowledge these DEI statements:

Developers: Drew Balduff, Frank Bove, Mandi Goodsett, Jerry Natal, and Shannon Simpson

Anti-Racism Call to Action

Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) as an organization acknowledges that we have been complicit in upholding systems of oppression, including but not limited to embracing “neutrality,” treating librarianship as a calling beyond reproach, and excluding minoritized groups from accessing our profession, collections, buildings, and services. Both actions and inaction have contributed to existing systems of oppression, and ALAO calls upon its members to take action to dismantle white supremacy culture in our libraries and in our profession. We value and support individual efforts to root out racism, but as an organization we prioritize calling out existing systems in which we take part and addressing white supremacy in structural, sustainable ways. We also acknowledge the intersectional nature of the work of undoing white supremacy culture, and we commit to taking action to liberate groups oppressed around other identities, such as disability, gender, and sexual identity.

ALAO as an organization commits to taking action in the following ways (subject to feedback from the ALAO community):

    • Raising awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion among its members and their institutions
      • Call to Action Speaker Series
      • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) related programming at ALAO annual conference
      • Promoting DEIA professional development among members with diversity professional development grant
    • Providing paths of anti-racist action for ALAO members
    • Improving internal ALAO functions and policies
      • Possible internal ALAO DEIA audit
      • Annual report of ALAO DEIA actions
    • Creating and easing pathways for library workers of color to become involved in ALAO / librarianship
      • Funding to support BIPOC library worker ALAO membership
      • Support for DEI-focused undergraduate development programs like the OhioLINK Luminaries project
      • Recruit mentors and mentees of color to ALAO’s mentoring program

Other Resources:

Definitions - Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Racial Justice, Social Justice, Systemic vs. Individual Bias (ALA Office of Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services)

Michigan Library Association - Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Adopted March 18, 2022

Copyright - Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO)

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