NOTE: Included in State of America’s Libraries Report 2021 is the list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020. The complete list and additional resources can be accessed here. From the American Library Association: Today, the American Library Association (ALA) released its State of America’s Libraries Special Report: COVID-19 , a snapshot of the library communities’ resilience, determination, and innovation in unprecedented circumstances.
I had intentionally not written about the incident of alleged Asian hatred in Atlanta this week because there are still questions about whether this was actually a hate crime. But I could stay silent no more. Alas, it doesn’t matter whether these particular incidents were hate crimes or not. Anti-Asian hate crimes in this country have risen, especially since the declaration of the current COVID-19 pandemic and some people (including the occupant of the White House prior to January 20, 2021) attributing the origin of the virus to people from Asian countries. Various news sources (such as this NBC News report) have reported a significant increase in anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the pandemic. And we hear the same rhetoric from our leaders: “This type of hatred has no place in our society….” While absolutely true, this type of hatred is merely another expression of hatred that people from the non-majority culture experience routinely. This IS the country that many of us see and live in. These acts of hatred MUST STOP! The people who commit these acts MUST BE PROSECUTED! And we must remain vigilant. There are many ways to help our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters. Learn about one such resource here. #stopasianhate
Today, the world watches another event described as “unprecedented.” We watched as donald trump supporters “entered the [U.S.] Capitol building and engaged with riot police as Congress held a joint session to count the Electoral College votes.” There is so much to unpack in both the action and the way in which the action is described. I will, however, keep this post short; afterall, there is nothing really new here. Maybe I’ll just even add a few bullet points. No need to elaborate.
- Although some reporters are beginning to use the term “rioters” most continue to use the word “protesters.”
- How would this even be described if this were a Black Lives Matter protest? Would we have “entered the Capitol,” or “breached the Capitol” (as today’s event is being described?)
- Would the event go on for HOURS before there is a significant police presence if these were other than trump supporters?
- How many black and brown people would have already been killed by law enforcement by now?
- Where is the “leader” of these protesters? He comes out with some statement about how “he loves [them].”
- Why have there been no arrests? The terrorists have been acting for hours at the time of this writing.
This is indeed another sad day for America. We tout ourselves as the model of democracy and we would be so extremely critical of activities like this if they were happening in a “third world,” or “developing” country. I guess we can now be relegated to that status? I am just in shock!
The following is a letter from Candise Branum, ACRL-Oregon President As many of you may already know, the World Health Organization has publicly classified COVID-19 as a pandemic. Across the country, K-12 schools are shuttering, colleges and universities are moving curriculum online, music festivals, conferences, and sporting events are cancelled or are proceeding without fans.
Source: COVID-19 and Academic Libraries
ALA and ACRL are committed to supporting our members, staff, and all librarians and library workers during these uncertain times. Now more than ever, academic and research librarians and libraries are essential to a thriving global community of learners and scholars.