LAUC Endorsement of the Black Caucus of the ALA Statement

Jun 10, 2020

LAUC Endorsement of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Statement

Condemning Increased Violence and Racism Towards Black Americans and People of Color

June 9, 2020

The Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC) joins the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association[1] and the Asian Pacific American Librarian Association (APALA)[2] in endorsing the statement of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning the state-sanctioned killing and policing of Black people and other marginalized communities.[3]  We see these actions as direct manifestations of systemic and institutional oppressions rooted in racial capitalism and white supremacy ideologies.  LAUC supports the BCALA’s call “to participate in local efforts to counter racism and violence” and APALA’s invitation to join them in dismantling oppressive systems in our institutions and the wider community in building solidarity that transcends gender, racial, and class lines.

The birth of LAUC in the 1960s as a recognized advisory body in the University of California System was itself a long contested and victorious collective struggle to gain academic status and end employment insecurity.[4]  LAUC calls upon its members to reflect deeply on the defiant and organic origins of LAUC and connect that past with today’s social, cultural and political challenges.  We draw on the profession’s egalitarian ethos and critical librarianship to question the myth of professional neutrality.  On this point, we concur with the Society of American Archivist’s statement, “As archivists, we are not neutral in matters of social justice and politics”.[5]

We call on the University of California administration, especially each campus’ office of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and library administrations, to recognize and use their privilege to engage meaningfully in rectifying the historical and present wrongs.  UC, like many other land grant institutions, in fact sits on stolen land.[6]  The devastating and brutal effects of settler colonialism continue to this day through systemic and structural oppression manifested in different forms (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) including the heavy-handed approach UC police have used against peaceful demonstrations.[7]  Finding long-term equitable solutions to this set of problems obligates everyone to enter into difficult conversations with altruism, humility, and understanding.

We concur with the UC-AFT statement[8] and call on all librarians and educators, represented and non-represented, to do anti-racist work in classrooms and libraries as this represents a big step toward necessary systemic change.  Concrete actions speak much louder than words.

LAUC further commits to deeper engagement to this mission within our realm of work “to advise the University on professional and governance matters, to make recommendations concerning the UC librarians' rights, privileges and obligations, and to promote full use of UC librarians' professional abilities.”[9]

In Solidarity,

The Board of the Librarians Association of the University of California

[1] “SRRT Endorses BCALA Condemnation of the Death of George Floyd.”

[2] “APALA stands with BCALA and Black Lives Matter.” 

[3] BCALA Statement posted on the Black Caucus of the American Library Association website:

[4] Horn, Judith K, “LAUC,” in LAUC: The First 25 Years: A History of the Librarians Association of the University of California, 1967-1992. Edited by Judith K. Horn and Jefferson P. Selth.

[6] Lee, Robert and Ahtone, Tristan. 2020. “Land-Grab Universities.” High Country News, March 30.

[7] “UC-AFT Statement on Police Murder of George Floyd.”

[8] Ibid.

[9] “LAUC Overview: History and Purpose.”