Newsletter

Guest Post: GET LOUD: No more shushing and “being nice” from white library workers

I’ve been struggling with how to write about this. Unsure of how to best get across the anger I feel towards the library profession’s general response to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

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IlA/ACRL Stands with ILA on Racism and Social Justice

Black Lives Matter Icon

The Iowa chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries stands with the Iowa Library Association in support and solidarity with those demonstrating for racial justice. Black Lives Matter, and it is incumbent upon on all of us to work to create an equitable and explicitly anti-racist society. Let us also remember to center Black voices and concerns, both at this moment and as this work continues into the future. Libraries and higher education, as formal social institutions, have historically often reinforced inequity and oppression in spite of our stated values of access and inclusion. Below you will find the ILA letter of support for Black Lives Matter and social and racial justice, and the organization's diversity statment.

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Urgent Call to Action from ILA

 “The Iowa Board of Education Examiners (BOEE) has proposed reductions to the credit hour requirements for endorsements for certain teachers, including School Librarians. ILA is concerned, and has expressed that concern in a letter to the BOEE, with these reductions. The reductions are from 36 credit hours to 24 credit hours and would cause a drop in the quality of education across the state. We want the BOEE and the legislature to maintain the current version of endorsements.”

 


From ILA/ACRL President Liz Riordan:

It’s been known for years, and several studies have shown*, that quality library programs in our K-12 schools has a positive effect on student achievement. As academic librarians, we understand the impact the presence of a skilled librarian can have on a student’s work in the classroom. In times where we find ourselves constantly fighting misinformation, we understand the absolute necessity of having prepared and skilled librarians teaching our K-12 students the importance of information use and ethics.

 

The Iowa Board of Education Examiners (BOEE) want to reduce the credit hour requirements for endorsements for certain teachers, including School Librarians. Ask yourselves what this would mean to the quality of education across our state. In an age where there is so much information readily available at our fingertips, it is essential to have highly-trained school librarians  who can teach Iowa’s children the skills they need to critically assess information and develop the thinking skills they will need moving forward in their educational and professional pursuits.

 

As academic librarians, we need to work to maintain and improve our quality of education in Iowa so that our students are prepared to take on the challenges of the 21st century. That is why ILA/ACRL is asking for you to take time and follow these steps laid out by ILA. Contrary to popular belief, librarians can make lots of noise, and when we are loud enough, we make an impact. So please, take time to contact the BOEE Members and ARRC Members who will impact this decision. Make yourself heard.

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ILA/ACRL Sponsored Pre-Conference Workshop

ILA/ACRL is sponsoring a pre-conference on succession planning and mentoring at this year’s ILA Annual Conference on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

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ILA Ad Hoc Committee for Diversity & Inclusion Seeks Members

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.).

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