From the President: Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Posted By: Heather Gendron Statements/Press Releases ,

The places in which we work and the services we provide enrich the lives of others through engagement with the visual arts, design, and cultural heritage. This is an inspiring core value, but only if what we do and how we do it are in the spirit of inclusion. In the wake of a contentious United States election season that has left many of our members and those in the communities we serve feeling afraid, angry, and uncertain of the future, ARLIS/NA proudly reaffirms its core value that “diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the profession strengthens the practice of art librarianship, and enriches library collections and user experiences”. 

ARLIS/NA is dedicated to the principles of equality, diversity, and the free expression of ideas with a fundamental respect for the rights, dignity and value of all persons. As a professional society, we seek to provide a harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, nationality, religion or other group identity – at our conferences and meetings, as well as on our listserves and websites - as stated in our Code of Conduct

To this end, the society has devised the following opportunities for members to be actively involved:

ARLIS/NA Diversity Forum

If you plan to attend the conference in New Orleans, you are invited to join members of the Diversity Committee, the Executive Board, and other ARLIS/NA leaders at the Diversity Forum that will take place on Wednesday, February 8 (12:00pm - 1:00pm). This event will be a safe place for open dialogue and brainstorming concrete actions that will further cultivate an inclusive and diverse ARLIS/NA. 

Leadership Institute and Project Implicit

Members of the Executive Board, Diversity Committee members, and Committee chairs have been invited to participate in our annual Leadership Institute. This year, the Institute will feature a workshop with Liz Redford from Project Implicit in which we will explore hidden biases and brainstorm ways we might reconsider ARLIS/NA policies and practices to promote inclusion and diversity. At the Diversity Forum, we anticipate a cross-fertilization of insights and ideas from the Project Implicit workshop that will have emerged during the Leadership Institute.

Diversity and Inclusion – Our Future

Additionally, the Executive Board invites all ARLIS/NA members to consider what concrete actions we can take that support our strategic direction regarding Diversity and Inclusion: “The Society shall promote diversity and inclusion within the profession including the makeup of its workforce, the design of services and programming, the development of intercultural fluency skills and competencies, and the practice of inclusive collections building.”

If you have additional ideas on things we can do as a Society to support diversity and inclusion, please feel free to contact members of the Executive Board or the Diversity Committee.

Heather Gendron
ARLIS/NA President