The Executive Board of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) adds its voice to the associations condemning racism and violence against Black people as well as the acts of police brutality that took the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and too many others. Black Lives Matter. To be silent in the face of injustice is to be complicit.
We acknowledge the pain of our Black colleagues, members, and library users who experience prejudice and injustice, oppression, and violence, and we stand in solidarity with them. We recognize that they are working in times of extraordinary stress. We endorse the statement made by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and deeply appreciate their advocacy in pushing libraries forward as well as their call "to take proactive and preventative measures in the fight against racism."
We acknowledge that this statement alone does not resolve long-standing injustices, that honest conversations about racism are difficult, and that art librarianship as well as ARLIS/NA are disproportionately white. These uncomfortable truths, however, will not prevent us from taking corrective action. As an organization, the Art Libraries Society of North America will hold itself accountable to continue the challenging, but necessary, work ahead: educating and self-educating, disrupting structural racism perpetuated in our institutional systems, and building equity through forums for discussion, policy, and action.