On June 19, a “Resolution on Cessation of Family Separations for Refugees Arriving at the United States Borders” was shared on the REFORMA listserv with a call to “distribute far and wide to your divisions, round table, and other library boards” and to “get endorsements for the resolution.” The ALSC Board then reviewed and discussed the resolution on ALA Connect in the days leading up to the ALA Annual Conference. The resolution was entered into the consent agenda for ALSC Board I at ALA Annual, which took place today, Saturday, June 23. At that meeting, the ALSC Board endorsed the resolution, which has been amended and renamed “Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents.” The resolution is currently planned to go before Council, sponsored by the Committee on Library Advocacy, on Tuesday at ALA Annual in New Orleans. Because this is an evolving news item, the specifics of the resolution and situation may continue to change, so follow ALA Council and news from conference for new developments.
Why does this issue matter to ALSC? ALSC is committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. The separation of children from their caregivers is an abhorrent policy, as is incarcerating families together. Supporting families is central to ALSC’s core values which include inclusiveness, integrity and respect for children and their families.
To learn more about this resolution and issue as well as ALSC and ALA resources for supporting immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, check out these resources (and add your own suggestions in the comments):
- View the current iteration of the “Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents.”
- Read the ALA statement on the refugee family separation policy.
- Stay informed on what’s going on with immigration and asylum policy in the United States. The situation continues to change on a daily basis (NPR National News, BBC News US & Canada, ACLU Trump’s Family Separation Crisis).
- Explore resources and past ALA actions from Libraries Respond: Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers.
- Utilize the resources in ALSC’s “Serving Diverse Communities” document, which includes links to book lists, resources for vulnerable communities, and information on grassroots organizing and mobilizing. Additional resources are available in the working document “ALSC Supporting Libraries in Today’s Changing Environment.”
- Be prepared with materials that depict and explain the refugee experience in a manner that is accurate and developmentally appropriate for children and young adults. This “Stories of Immigration” list includes titles that have been awarded a Pura Belpré medal or honor, and this list from Booklist includes over two dozen picture books, middle grade titles, and young adult books to have accessible in your collections and on displays.
- View this archived presentation from Leadership & ALSC at Midwinter 2018, “Toxic Stress in the Library: The Upstream Impact of Life Adversity on Children,” from Dr. Janina Fariñas and Johanna Ulloa Girón, MSW.
This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and V. Outreach and Advocacy.