Jefferson County Association of School Librarians stands with the American Association of School Librarians and the Kentucky Association of School Librarians to affirm that Black Lives Matter.
JCASL stands with KASL and AASL to condemn the deaths of Black people from racial profiling and police brutality. We will strive to combat systemic racism and oppression in our education communities by lifting up Black voices. The senseless death of Breonna Taylor in our Louisville community has mobilized us to be greater agents of change. Now more than ever, libraries must respond to racism and violence with anti-racism education, practicing inclusivity, and by lifting up the voices of Black students, colleagues, authors, and leaders.
How do libraries show that Black Lives Matter? ALA condemns racism and invites you to join the conversation on social justice issues by posting on social media using the #librariesrespond hashtag. The Black Caucus of the American Library Association issued a statement condemning the increased violence and offers advocacy options to promote change. Margaret Sullivan penned the article, “If You Want to Promote Equality and Justice, Advocate for K-12 Social Studies”, which points to the decrease in educational time spent on Social Studies and the need to reverse it. We must also re-bolster our efforts to recruit Black people and all People of Color to our profession as it suffers from a persistent lack of racial and ethnic diversity.
How do we, with boots on the ground in public or private Jefferson County School Libraries, show that Black Lives Matter? Libraries embody the faces of our communities in our in-person and online presences. We know that the Achievement Gap for Black students continues to grow, despite their many contributions to our communities. Therefore, we must continue strengthening our relationships with our Black students and reflect their interests and concerns in our lessons. We must affirm and amplify their voices so that they can feel heard and be heard in our communities. It is of utmost importance to celebrate their many achievements with them as well as through our library websites, social media, annual reports, and other platforms for communicating achievement.
Serving our Schools Libraries are for everyone, but if they are not adequately serving the most vulnerable in our communities, they are maintaining the status quo, not working toward a better, more equitable future. We have been hard at work ensuring that our collections represent diversity. We must keep promoting and utilizing these collections to educate on anti-racism. Stand up and show that libraries are indispensable resources for accessing anti-racism materials. Show the impact your multicultural lessons have on all students in your community. Enhance your lessons and resources to model and foster empathy among students to cultivate improved understanding of diverse perspectives.
Serve in your Professional Organization JCASL invites all school librarians, retired librarians, and library science students to become members for the 2020-2021 school year. JCASL also invites all members to offer their feedback and ideas for improving the organization through its survey. Click here to join as a member and here to take the survey. We would love to have a more diverse representation on the board. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are interested in serving with us.