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TLA Statement on Racial Justice

Friday, June 12, 2020  
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The Tennessee Library Association (TLA) is incensed and heartbroken that systemic racism and violence against persons of color remain issues in our society.  It is unconscionable that our members and patrons still suffer from terror, discrimination and exclusion solely based upon the color of their skin. We stand in solidarity with the American Library Association and other sister affiliates in strongly condemning the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and all who have been victimized by racial aggression.  We strongly condemn the institutional racism that remains prevalent in our society and that impacts the lives of our brothers and sisters of color, including librarians, library staff and our library patrons.  This is not a political issue but a human rights issue.  

We, as a library association, stand for equity, diversity and inclusion; but more importantly, we will ensure that we are living those ideals in examining ourselves and our organization.  We challenge our member libraries to do the same.

The Tennessee Library Association stands steadfast in the belief that all libraries provide a welcoming and safe environment.  To that end, TLA, in concert with the TLA Diversity & Inclusion Committee, sets the following goals:

  • Provide training and resources for the Board, members, and libraries to examine policies, procedures, and actions to ensure that all are welcome in our libraries and association.
  • Ensure that TLA is a truly inclusive environment for all librarians and staff of color and identify barriers to the profession and association.
  • Provide educational programs for librarians and staff on issues of racism, privilege, and breaking down barriers for patrons.
  • Encourage libraries to continue to create and promote diverse programs and collections to share with their communities and patrons.

This statement was approved unanimously by the Tennessee Library Association Advisory Council and Executive Board June 12, 2020.

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