ILA Ad Hoc Committee for Diversity & Inclusion Seeks Members

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Diversity is an issue that is inherent and essential to librarianship. It impacts the communities we serve, the profession of librarianship, and the mission of libraries. Diversity is a Key Action Area for the American Library Association (ALA), and its prioritization is shown not only through the existence and activities of the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, but also through the various committees, roundtables, interest groups, and initiatives organized by ALA affiliates, divisions, and state organizations (American Library Association, n.d.). Twenty eight out of fifty one, or fifty-five percent, of other state library organizations in the US have a committee or roundtable dedicated to one or more areas of diversity. We are excited to add Iowa to that growing list!

The committee seeks to support minority populations in our profession and the communities we serve by:

  • Promoting inclusive library services
  • Providing opportunities for educational and professional development of existing staff focusing on issues of diversity and inclusion
  • Encouraging recruitment of diverse staff
  • Communicating timely issues with the ILA membership
  • Connecting the membership with local and national resources and organizations

Immediate goals:

  • Promote awareness of issues relating to diversity and inclusion to the greater ILA membership
  • Conduct an assessment of needs surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion in Iowa
  • Craft and propose language for ILA to adopt as our association’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

We have seen issues of diversity in high-profile news stories featuring racial and religious tensions and conflict, police shootings, the Black Lives Matter movement, the We Need Diverse Books movement, and books being banned simply for addressing issues of diversity and identity. We also continue to see statistics noting the disparities of income and opportunity between marginalized populations and the majority. Though we have struggled with issues of equity for decades and have made great strides, there will always be a need to create safe spaces where individual differences can be celebrated and communities of awareness and support can be built.  

Members will be selected based on the needs of the committee.

Questions may be directed to the committee chair, Cara B. Stone [email protected].

To learn more and/or express interest, visit: http://bit.ly/ilacdi2016

 
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