In 2015, student groups at campuses across the United States and Canada challenged their college and university administrations to address issues of institutional and systemic racism and other oppressive practices in academe. Much of this student activism occurred on campuses where libraries are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), which has long held diversity and inclusion as core values embedded in the guiding principles of the Association.
In these tumultuous and transformational times, ARL affirms its commitment to supporting social justice issues within the sphere of racial/ethnic equality and across many other dimensions of human identity and expression. We recognize that libraries hold tremendous responsibility as stewards of the historical, artistic, and scientific record. We commit to marshaling our resources and developing policies that will create safe and welcoming virtual and physical spaces in support of unfettered dialogue and free exchange of ideas. These efforts will advance the collective understanding of these issues and advance progress in meaningful ways. Moreover, we acknowledge the tremendous opportunity that exists for libraries to model exemplary practice in critically examining their role in supporting systemic oppression, and working with the broader academic, research, and civic communities to dismantle those structures that lead to inequality and lack of opportunity in our world.
The Association of Research Libraries is committed to documenting voices of marginalized populations, and to creating and sustaining library and information organizations that not only are diverse and inclusive, but that fully leverage those assets to ensure intellectual and social growth and engagement for all stakeholders.
To that end, the Association is publishing short articles from ARL libraries that highlight what they are doing to support social justice movements, and to contribute in meaningful ways to the advancement of diversity, inclusion, and equality. Please contact Mark A. Puente, ARL’s director of diversity and leadership programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to submit an article.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.