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):
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