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My ALA YouTube Contribution: ALA’s GLBT Policies

I’m posting these American Library Association policies as an accompaniment to my YouTube video for ALA’s presidential candidates.

Note: the ALA policy manual online is six months out-of-date; I had to get corrected text from an ALA member. So no quibbling from the candidates that this submission is a day late!


The ALA will enter into conference-site contracts only with organizations and legal bodies in cities, counties, or states that do not by law discriminate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.


The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.  The Association also encourages librarians to proactively support the First Amendment rights of all library users, regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

54.3 Equal Employment Opportunity

The American Library Association is committed to equality of opportunity for all library employees or applicants for employment, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, individual life-style, or national origin; and believes that hiring individuals with disabilities in all types of libraries is consistent with good personnel and management practices. Key factors in the selection of library personnel are training, knowledge, job interest, and the particular physical or mental abilities to do a specific job. Modification of the work environment should be considered if necessary to assist an individual in performing the job.

54.16 Gay Rights

The American Library Association Council reaffirms its support for equal employment opportunity for gay librarians and library workers. The Council recommends that libraries reaffirm their obligation under the Library Bill of Rights to disseminate information representing all points of view on this topic.

60.3 Combating Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination

The American Library Association actively commits its programs and resources to those efforts that combat prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination against individuals and groups in the library profession and in library user populations on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, color, religious background, national origin, language of origin or disability. Nothing in the Resolution on Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination authorizes censoring, expurgation, or restrictive labeling of materials. Actions and programs to raise the awareness of library users to any problem or condition would not be in conflict with the Library Bill of Rights when they are free of any element of advocacy. Both documents respect the rights of all who use libraries to do so freely and without being subjected to pressure or censorship from within the institution.

Furthermore, ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is a continuous effort and must extend throughout its membership. Specifically, the American Library Association and libraries will:

1) Seek to facilitate equitable participation of all people within decision-making processes in the Association and will strive to create an environment where all are welcome and where diversity is a collective goal.
2) Encourage its membership, libraries, vendors and stakeholders to implement anti-racism policies that outline the organization’s expectations of its participants, staff and members.
3) Support anti-racism work within the broader society by monitoring, evaluating and advocating for human rights and equity legislation, regulations, policy and practice.
Thus, the American Library Association will endeavor to ensure full representation of all racial groups and have this reflected in its policies, procedures, and programs, as well as in its relations with staff, members, stakeholders, and the community at large, thereby reaffirming its commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect for all human beings.

(See ”Current Reference File” for full Resolution on Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, a revision of the Resolution on Racism and Sexism Awareness.)

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