Yesterday marked the sixth annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH). The ALA Libraries Respond page explains it as, “an opportunity for people, organizations and communities across the United States to call for racial healing, bring people together in their common humanity and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world.”
ALA staff were asked to do some individual reflection on what drives our commitment to racial healing and equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ) in libraries. As I reflected, I thought of: growing up in The Bronx; visiting NYPL branches when I had no access to a computer or internet; and how rich The Bronx is in culture, art, and diversity. I reflected on how, via the public library, I had access to internet, materials, and just space to sit and think when I couldn’t do it anywhere else.
Of course, I also reflected on ALSC’s work and impact. One of the purposes of NDORH is noted as, “…to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant,” and my brain immediately linked that to Día’s ultimate purpose, which is to celebrate children and families of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. If you’ve never hosted a Día program at your library before, I ask that you consider one (or a few) this year and submit it to our registry. Día booklists are available all year long, too, thanks to our Quicklists Consulting Committee!
I also thought of the work being done by our amazing Library Service to Underserved Children and their Caregivers Committee. Their recent blog post gives a great overview of what they’ve accomplished thus far and what’s to come. If you have questions about these resources, where to start, or how to get involved, bring a snack and join us for a chat on February 22 with the committee!
A lot of other work is being done to address EDISJ and you can learn more by reviewing our Strategic Plan Implementation Reports and EDI Statement on the ALSC website. You can also learn more by attending ALSC Board meetings! Did you know these are open meetings you can attend as an audience member? The Board’s schedule is updated on the ALSC website.
This concludes my post on NDORH and ALSC’s work that connects to it! But before I end, some important unrelated reminders:
- If you are not an ALSC member or need to reinstate your membership, I strongly encourage you to do so before January 31st. This is the deadline to be able to receive your ballot for the 2022 ALA Elections. Important items are being brought to ALSC membership to vote on! I want you to be one of those members who receives a ballot and votes.
- ALA’s new Library Learning Experience is a few days away and you can still register! I’m excited about the different session types noted in the education programs that will allow for a more customized experience.
- Youth.Media.Awards.Monday. Yes! Share your excitement on social media by using #alayma.
- Join the ALSC Membership Committee for an ALSC membership mixer on January 27th at 5pm CST! We have a few 5-minute lightning sessions planned, which focus on different areas of children’s services and ALSC! See you there.
Elizabeth Serrano (a.k.a. Elly) is ALSC’s Membership and Marketing Specialist. She can be reached at email@example.com. Please feel free to reach out to her to say hello and ask your ALSC questions!