The Missouri Library Association stands with library workers, with library users, and with members of the communities we serve and support who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and discrimination based solely on their race or ethnicity. The pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and as such is a barrier to the goals of this association and to everything that libraries stand for.
Often, we hear that libraries should be neutral organizations, that taking a stand is not appropriate. There is no neutral here. Hatred, violence, prejudice, or exclusion of people because of their appearance is not a political argument; there are no sides to this debate. Freedom from oppression is a human right. Representation is important.
I am proud of Missouri Libraries as we serve our communities through these difficult times. The anti-racist actions of the last few days are commendable. We are providing resources, creating booklists, providing safe spaces, and supporting those who depend on us. I urge all MO libraries to curate book lists and provide resources for those who wish to educate themselves. Let us stand together and support those who need it most.
Missouri Library Association President, 2020