AzLA Endorses Resolution

By Dan Stanton

Through a vote of the Arizona Library Association Board, the Arizona Library Association endorsed the following resolution.

2017-2018 ALA CD#41_62118_ACT

2018 ALA Annual Conference


Resolution to Honor African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation


Whereas the system of “Jim Crow” laws and customs officially existed into the 1960s–a century after the official end of slavery in the United States; [1,2]

Whereas virulent racism, disenfranchisement, Black Codes, and racial segregation laws imposed a rigid system of officially sanctioned racial segregation in virtually all areas of life, including access to public libraries; [1,2]

Whereas, despite the work of African American librarians, including but not limited to Clara Stanton Jones, E.J. Josey, Albert P. Marshall and Virginia Lacy Jones, and the allies who stood with them to fight segregation, a large majority of the nation’s library community failed to address the injustices of segregated library services until the 1960s; [3,4,5]

Whereas, in many cases the American Library Association participated, both passively and actively, in the disenfranchisement of African American librarians, depriving them of the resources of professional association;

Whereas the American Library Association continued to accept segregated public libraries as members into the 1960s; [3,4,5]

Whereas the American Library Association filed no amicus curiae briefs in any of the local, state, and national lawsuits filed in the 1950s and 1960s to desegregate public libraries; [3]

Whereas the nation’s library press reported nothing about the 1939 Alexandria (VA) Library sit-in by five young African Americans that took place two months after the American Library Association passed a Library Bill of Rights; [3]

Whereas a sincere and heartfelt apology is an important and necessary first step in the process of reconciliation;

Whereas an apology for decades of injustices cannot erase the past, but a recognition of the wrongs committed and injustices ignored can help the nation’s library community confront the ghosts of its past: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the American Library Association

(1) Acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, and inhumanity of racially segregated libraries;

(2) Apologizes to African Americans for wrongs committed against them in segregated public libraries;

(3) Commends African Americans who risked their lives to integrate public libraries for their bravery and courage in challenging segregation in public libraries and in forcing public libraries to live up to the rhetoric of their ideals;

(4) Welcomes all African Americans to libraries, recognizing in particular those who were forced to use segregated libraries;

(5) Encourages libraries to defend, in their policies and in their actions, the ALA Code of Ethics principle 1–“We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests;” [6]

(6) Will review policy documents and internal procedures to ensure Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) principles are reflected throughout, and;

(7) And be it further resolved that this resolution be printed in full in American Libraries and publicized widely via all media channels.

Mover: Sara Dallas, ALA Councilor-at-Large

Seconder: Jessica J. Schomberg, Councilor-at-Large

Trevor A. Dawes, ALA Executive Board, At-Large
Aaron Dobbs, LITA
Martin Garnar, IFRT
Eboni M. Henry, At-Large
Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, At-Large
Oscar Baeza, At-Large
Matt Beckstrom, Montana
Gladys Smiley Bell, At-Large
Kathy Carroll, At-Large
Stephanie Chase, PLA
Virginia Alexander Cononie, South Carolina
Roberto Delgadillo, At-Large
Karen E. Downing, ALA Executive Board
Emily Drabinski, At-Large
Vicki M. Emery, At-Large
Jennifer Ferriss, New York
Erica Findley, At-Large
Elizabeth Fox, South Dakota
Ed Garcia, At-Large
Selina Gomez-Beloz, At-Large
Mario M. Gonzales, At-Large
Mel Gooch, At-Large
Terri Grief, At Large
Dorcas Hand, At-Large
Megan Hodge, At-Large
Patricia M. Hogan, SRT
Grace M. Jackson-Brown, At-Large
Jennifer Jamison, At-Large
Sara Kelly Johns, At-Large
Kyla M. Johnson, At-Large
Danielle Jones, Oregon
Jessica Jupitus, At-Large
Em Clair Knowles, At-Large
Laura Koltusky, SSRT
Majed Khader, West Virginia
Leroy LaFleur, ACRL
Sherry Machones, Wisconsin
Mike Marlin, ALA Executive Board
Dale K. McNeill, Texas
Virginia (Ginny) B. Moore, At-Large
Beth Munk, Indiana
Muzhgan Israfil Nazarova, At-Large
Larry Neal, At-Large
Kimberly A. Patton, At-Large
Lessa K. Pelayo-Lozada, ALA Executive Board, At-Large
Raymond Pun, At-Large
Karen Quash, At-Large
Rachel G. Rubin, At-Large
Romelia Salinas, At-Large
Edward Sanchez, At-Large
Michael Santangelo, At-Large
Karen G. Schneider, At-Large
Jahala D. Simuel, At-Large
Eric Suess, At-Large
Daniella Smith, At-Large
Amy Steinbauer, At-Large
Ann K. Symons, GLBTRT
Stephanie D. Tolson, Missouri
Janice Welburn, At-Large

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)
Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC)
Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)
Public Library Association (PLA)
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
United for Libraries (Trustees, Friends, Foundations)
Young Adult Library Services (YALSA)
American Indian Library Association
Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)
Black Caucus of ALA
Chinese American Librarians Association
Joint Conference of Librarians of Color
Arkansas Library Association
*Arizona Library Association
Colorado Association of Libraries
Connecticut Library Association
District of Columbia Library Association
Hawaii Library Association
Idaho Library Association
Illinois Library Association
Michigan Library Association
Minnesota Library Association
Mississippi Library Association
Missouri Library Association
Nebraska Library Association
New Hampshire Library Association
New Jersey Library Association
New Mexico Library Association
New York Library Association
North Carolina Library Association
Ohio Library Council
Pennsylvania Library Association
Rhode Island Library Association
South Carolina Library Association
Utah Library Association
Virginia Library Association
Ethnic and Multicultural Exchange Round Table (EMIERT)
Federal and Armed Forces Libraries (FAFLRT)
Intellectual Freedom Roundtable (IFRT)
International Relations Round Table (IRRT)
Games and Gaming Round Table (GAMERT)
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT)
Library History Round Table (LHRT)
Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)
New Members Round Table (NMRT)
Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT)
Sustainability Roundtable (SustainRT)
ACRL–Professional Values Committee
ALA Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE)
ALA Committee on Diversity
Chapter Relations Committee
Wayne Wiegand, ALA Member–Resolution Working Group
LaJuan Pringle, ALA Member–Resolution Working Group
Nicole Shabazz, ALA Member–Resolution Working Group

ALA Member Endorsers
Joyce Rambo
Rosaline Odom
Tara Thibault-Edmonds
Candace Morgan
Satia Marshall Orange
Jessica MacPhail
Tamika Price
*Rene Tanner
Heather Martin
Eunice Anderson
Julie Ann Winkelstein
Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri
Vince Sovanski
James K. Teliha
Susan Polos
Sukrit Goswami
Allan M. Kleiman

  1. United States. Cong. House. Apologizing for the Enslavement and Racial Segregation of African-Americans. 110th Cong. 2nd sess. H. Res. 194. (2007-2008). 154 Cong. Rec. H7224. Washington: GPO, 2008.
  2. United States. Cong. Senate. Apologizing for the Enslavement and Racial Segregation of African-Americans. 111th Cong. 1st sess. S. Res. 26. (2009-2010). 155 Cong. Rec. S6761. Washington: GPO, 2009.
  3. Shirley A. Wiegand and Wayne A. Wiegand, The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism, (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2018).
  4. John Mark Tucker, Untold Stories: Civil Liberties, Libraries, and Black Librarianship, (Champaign, IL: Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1998).
  5. Cheryl Knott, Not Free, Not for All, (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015).
  6. Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.

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