New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

A Message from the President

by Barbara Stripling, NYLA President

These past few months have been a time of deep reflection for many of us.  We have seen a national conversation that challenges the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion – values that are the foundation of our libraries and service to our communities.

I believe that we must stand up for those values; we must take action in small and large ways to ensure that we build more equity, diversity, and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship, and our communities.  We must have public and honest conversations.  We must listen to each other and provide spaces for the respectful interchange of ideas and perspectives.  Our communities need our libraries now more than ever, whether we serve a school, college or university, organization, or the general public.

As NYLA President, I am committed to our collective action.  I will be asking NYLA Council to examine our way forward as an association, perhaps by coalescing our efforts under a Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.  The Task Force would enable us to unify our voices, facilitate the sharing of local actions, and strengthen the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our communities.

If approved by NYLA Council, the Task Force will have the following charge:

  1. Engage the broad New York library community in the issue of strengthening equity, diversity, and inclusion through conversations about perspectives, challenges, and opportunities;
  2. Collect and curate models and examples of services and programs currently being employed in our libraries;
  3. Develop venues for librarians to share their actions with the New York library community;
  4. Identify additional opportunities for New York libraries to take action;
  5. Coordinate with the Task Force on Everyday Advocacy to build strong advocacy and awareness around these values;
  6. Coordinate with NYLA sections, committees, affiliates and roundtables to develop a strong, unified NYLA agenda and voice;
  7. Develop additional strategies, tools, and messages as determined by the Task Force membership.

If you would like to indicate preliminary interest in serving on such a task force or participating in other actions that the Council may develop, please send your name and contact information to Jeremy Johannesen at director@nyla.org.

Thank you for your commitment to our fundamental values and the strong actions we must take as a library community.  Our public and honest conversations will strengthen our libraries and our communities.