On behalf of the NSLA board, which has approved bringing this statement forward to the membership at the AGM for inclusion in NSLA’s standing orders, we would like to issue the following:
The Nova Scotia Library Association believes that Black Lives Matter. We unequivocally
condemn the systemic racism and police brutality disproportionately experienced by
Black and Indigenous people. At the same time, we recognize the library sector, our
institutions, and our practices reinforce and perpetuate colonialism, white privilege, and
other systems of inequity. We have much work to do. Canadian Senator and Nova
Scotian Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard said, “We need to listen with humility and act with
purpose. We are striving to listen, learn, educate, and make critical changes to create
informed, participatory, and inclusive communities.”
NSLA is committed to action and accountability as follows:
A. NSLA will share resources that amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and
People of Colour (BIPOC) writers and help educate the NS library community on
issues of anti-racism and resistance. We commit to reading and reflecting on
those resources ourselves.
B. NSLA will prepare a specific anti-racism policy to guide the work of the
Association and to help inform the work of our members. This policy will be
incorporated into the Association’s Standing Orders by the 2021 AGM.
C. NSLA will establish a bursary for a BIPOC student entering either the Library
and Information Technology program at the Nova Scotia Community College or
the Master of Information program at Dalhousie University.
D. NSLA will ensure that our annual conference and professional development
workshops will include sessions addressing issues of equity, inclusion, and
diversity. All efforts will be made to ensure inclusive representation on panels
E. NSLA will issue a challenge to Nova Scotian and Canadian publishers, that
the books they publish include the work, the voices, and the perspectives of
BIPOC writers, illustrators and communities.
F. NSLA recommends that Nova Scotian libraries revisit policies related to
collections development, community programming, outreach, hiring practices,
and all areas of work with an anti-racist lens. NSLA reminds Nova Scotian
libraries that working with and fostering long-term relationships with BIPOC
communities is essential for developing truly inclusive policies and services, and
it is a desired goal that staff composition represent the diversity of our province.