Go to:
Online Doc
Meeting Request
Eleanor Diaz (staff)'s picture

DRAFT: Library Bill of Rights Interpretation - Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

This is a draft interpretation that attempts to demonstrate how equity, diversity and inclusion are integral to the principles expressed in the Library Bill of Rights. Please share this draft widely. We appreciate any and all feedback on this draft document.

Diane Porterfield's picture

The beauty of the Library Bill of Rights is in its simplicity. There are no changes needed. The draft is overly wordy and frankly demonstrates the out-of-touchness ALA has been accused of.

How kind of ALA to dictate how a library raises funds, for programs and material few may want to see.

Those of us who work in libraries know that budgetary decisions are not easy. In essence you look for the greatest bang for your buck while also balancing the less popular and unseen services and resources. Overdue charges and fees can be avoided by patrons and are often needed as a funding source for libraries. In following this draft libraries will have decreased funding but will also need to include an "abundance of resources and programming..." not necessarily the resources and programming my community wants but stuff they don't want as well.

Perhaps the intellectual freedom committee should address the gag orders on federal departments, and the potential restriction on dissemination of knowledge by the deletion of webpages that had been access points.

James LaRue-IL (staff)'s picture

Diane, see http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2017/02/new-resolution-addresses-acc.... Also http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=9005http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=9032, and my blog "OIF Condemns Government Agency censorship" at http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=8410. The IF community has indeed addressed the issue of gag orders.

"Interpretations" are the way we highlight issues of the day without having to change the wording of the Bill of Rights. I would argue that's HOW we stay in touch. Thanks for your comments.


Max Macias (non-member)'s picture

Thank you for providing some rational guidelines for people.  Too many times libraries can become one-sided and get out of touch with their communities.  Some may try to argue that some communities are homogeneous and don't need multiple viewpoints, and guidelines, but even these communities must interact with other, more diverse aspects of the country.  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are not just limited to ethnicity.  They relate to sexism, classism, ableism, and more-these important values should be explicitly stated.  Thank you!



Nicole Sump-Crethar's picture

I thought this was very thoughtfully written. Thanks.

Eleanor Diaz (staff)'s picture

Attached are comments and suggestions for the equity, diversity and inclusion interpretation, made by the ALCTS Advocacy & Policy Committee and approved by the ALCTS Board. 

Eleanor Diaz (staff)'s picture

Attached are comments from Multnomah County Library's equity and inclusion manager. 

Eleanor Diaz (staff)'s picture

Below are comments from Nebraska Library Association President Angela Kroeger. 

I’ve read the draft interpretations, and I like the shift in emphasis from "equality" to "equity," and the explanation as to why. I also like the focus on the idea of the library as a center of civic engagement.

These are good ideals. Regarding the first document, I wonder if it might be helpful to include a nod to the reality that some librarians, especially in small or rural libraries, may not have the power and influence necessary to resist the pressure from their communities to remove controversial materials from their collection. Absolutely, the ideal is for the library to make all types of materials available to all types of people, but personally I would not be comfortable telling a low-income rural librarian to sacrifice her livelihood for the sake of keeping a particular book on the shelf. However, perhaps it is better to stay focused on the ideals and not add any conditionals or compromises.

Overall, I think these draft interpretations are very good, and I would have no objections to their adoption as-is.