The Library's Equity Task Force stands in support of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) in recognizing and condemning anti-Asian hate crimes. The ALA's statement outlines the Library's role in combatting "cultural bias and bigotry by promoting diversity in our collections, programming, policies and hiring practices ensuring that our diverse communities see themselves represented on our library shelves, in our offerings, and among our ranks." It also acknowledges the "wave of anti-Asian language, hate speech, and physical assaults on streets across the country, in media reports, in statements by politicians, and on social media related to the origins of COVID-19."
The APALA's statement offers 2021 COVID-19 anti-xenophobia and anti-racist information resources and COVID-19 Anti-Asian Racism Resources for K-12, as well as providing a space to share ways libraries and partner organizations are "battling discrimination, xenophobia, and white supremacy," and asks for public condemnation of anti-AAPI racism in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities.
As outlined in our equity statement, the New Orleans Public Library is committed to providing equitable access to our resources and cultivating an equitable environment for both Library users and staff. As such, we play an essential role in promoting racial and social equity, not only in our Libraries, but in our communities.
In addition to updating our Anti-Racism Reading Lists & Resources, the Equity Task Force is exploring ways that the Library can support our community as we process the continued violence and xenophobia felt in our city and throughout the country.