NLA Condemns Racism and Violence Against Black People and People of Color

NLA Statement Condemning Racism and Violence against Black People and People of Color

The Nebraska Library Association condemns racist and violent acts against Black people and all People of Color (POC). Racist oppression has been with us since before this nation was founded and has been highlighted again by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and James Scurlock — and these are only the most recent, high-profile cases. On behalf of the NLA Diversity Committee and of the NLA as a whole, we cannot be silent at this time.

It is not enough for us as individuals and as a profession to be passively non-racist: we must be actively antiracist, as librarians, as members of our communities, and as human beings. Libraries often promote neutrality as a professional value, and there is good intention in this: we seek balanced and open access to knowledge and information for anyone who uses our services.

However, librarianship does not have a neutral history in matters of justice, from Melvil Dewey to the segregated libraries of Jim Crow, we have seen the ways that passivity and overt oppression have played out in our profession’s history and present day. Though in many ways we have made progress, we still have much work left to do. Now is the time to be unwavering and persistent in our solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and POC colleagues, patrons, and community members. Librarians cannot hide behind the shield of neutrality on matters of human rights.

Read the full statement here.

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