Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ALA President Statement on Indiana Law

From ALA News Press Release
ALA President Courtney Young releases statement regarding Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act

  “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act contradicts the fundamental values of the ALA and libraries. The ALA deplores and rejects any law that violates the civil liberties of any person.  Our association is built around the ALA Code of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights that reflect this deeply held value.  Access to all applies to libraries as well as restaurants, businesses, and associations like ours.   

“We reaffirm that is it is the responsibility of library staff everywhere, regardless of the legal ability to refuse service, to offer equal and unfettered access to all users in keeping with the library Bill of Rights and principles of intellectual freedom.

“The Indiana RFRA has understandably triggered deep concern in the ALA community, which is currently scheduled for its 2021 Midwinter Meeting in Indianapolis.  Although the law has been denounced by the Mayor of Indianapolis, the Chamber of Commerce, and many businesses, the ALA and key Indiana members continue to monitor the legislative situation.

 “ALA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is calling for input from the membership—how can we best engage our host communities when ALA holds its conference in the midst of a local controversy that touches us all?

 “The ALA and its members will continue efforts to work towards developing a long-term strategy to encounter the growing trend of RFRA’s, which threaten to undermine civil rights and the fundamental principles upon which libraries are founded.”

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