The current global uprisings for Black Lives have made it clear that police power is enormous, deadly, and unaccountable. It is not enough for libraries to say “Black Lives Matter.” Now is the time for libraries to divest from police. Police and their surveillance technologies do not belong in libraries, and they inhibit our ability to promote our values of intellectual freedom, privacy, and access.

Library Freedom Project is calling on our profession to begin taking away police power in our spaces in order to support our communities and defend the values of librarianship.

Black, Indigenous, and POC librarians have repeatedly expressed how police presence in libraries threaten their safety and that of their communities. Police escalation and brutality has happened repeatedly within our buildings. When we call police to deal with patron issues, rather than investing in our own deescalation strategies and alternatives, we are risking police violence, especially against our most vulnerable patrons. Furthermore, the library profession is overwhelmingly white women, who have a unique historic complicity in violence against Black people.

The uprisings in the streets show that a more just world is not only possible, but popular — we are…

Alison Macrina and Myrna Morales submitted the following text to the ALA Committee on Diversity during their request for feedback on a revised policy about library services for people experiencing poverty. We’re publishing it here to share our ideas with the rest of the library community. For the sake of clarity, the original policy is in regular text, the bolded text is the Committee on Diversity’s revisions, and the italicized text is Myrna and Alison’s feedback.

A note on this feedback:

In an age of ever increasing economic injustice and the continued degradation of public services and the social safety…

Library Freedom Project

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