Politics

Arizona Librarian Fired for Push to Keep Libraries Apolitical

The Washington Free Beacon reports that an Arizona librarian was fired after he called for libraries to be apolitical spaces.

According to the Beacon, “In July, Arizona librarian Ron Kelley received an email from the American Library Association-the largest librarian association in the world-soliciting individuals to join the Black Lives Matter movement. Kelley, replied to the list-serve with an email titled “Keep Politics Off This Discussion Group,” in which he argued that libraries should remain neutral and apolitical. Following two complaints to the Flagstaff Library regarding his email, Kelley was fired from his job.”

Prior to Kelley’s removal from the position he had served for nine years, the American Library Association instructed employees to embrace “critical librarianship,” which asks libraries and librarians to analyze how they “consciously and unconsciously support systems of oppression.” Its core tenet is that neutrality harms oppressed groups. As one Portland librarian put it in the American Libraries magazine, remaining neutral as a librarian “upholds inequality and represents indifference to the marginalization of members of our community.,” The Beacon reports. Read more…

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