The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce the release of its equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) statement along with new resources that support the EDI-related work of the association. These materials, part of an ongoing commitment to EDI within the division and throughout the youth services library profession, further articulate and amplify ALSC’s commitment to EDI.
The ALSC statement on equity, diversity and inclusion is available on ALSC’s newly created Equity, Diversity and Inclusion webpage, which highlights ALSC’s current EDI efforts, opportunities for members to get involved with the division’s EDI work, as well as links to EDI resources, videos and publications. “The EDI statement anchors ALSC’s EDI work and provides a shared understanding of the association’s recognition of the value that diversity brings to the youth services library profession and ALSC’s position on issues of discrimination and harassment,” said Cecilia McGowan, ALSC President. ALSC recognizes that many ALSC members and the children and families they serve are members of historically oppressed populations who continually face incidents—within the association, their libraries and their communities—in which their personal identities are underrepresented, devalued and overlooked. ALSC acknowledges these occurrences and is committed to supporting members who are challenged by ignorance and prejudice, as well as embracing the unique perspectives ALSC members contribute to furthering ALSC’s vision. The EDI statement and materials will be continually updated and further developed as living resources for ALSC members.
“Diversity & Inclusion” is one of three main priority areas in ALSC’s 2017 -2020 Strategic Plan . The association seeks to embed EDI across all its projects and activities including advocacy efforts, professional development, committee work, publications, partnerships and communications. These efforts have been and will continue to be coordinated through ALSC leadership and members and with other ALA divisions and offices, including the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), in order to provide a comprehensive, unified and sustainable approach to EDI work. As defined in the ALSC EDI statement, “…we are committed to continuous, proactive growth and action to counter oppression as we strive to ensure that all children are served by, and can see themselves reflected in, their libraries and their communities”.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit our website at www.ala.org/alsc.