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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement December 2020

COSLA believes the highest quality of library services should be available and accessible to all people within each state and U.S. territory. We understand that systemic discrimination exists today within the library profession. We acknowledge that past and present inequity exclude many from the wide range of benefits provided by libraries.

Eliminating exclusions to universal, equitable library services demands the recognition, understanding and prioritization of the history, perspectives, and aspirations of all people. The “all” includes, and is not limited to, people of every racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, economic, educational, geographic, and disability status.

To ensure our values of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are made a reality throughout the library professions, COSLA is committed to taking realistic but impactful steps toward the full incorporation of EDI principles in membership and business practices, industry leadership, program development, organizational culture, assessment, and accountability.

COSLA’s mission is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest, to further state library agency relationships with the federal government and national organizations, and to initiate, maintain, and support cooperative action for the improvement of library services. We will only be able to achieve this mission with sincere, coordinated, and intentional actions and accountability to directly challenge and counteract the pervasive inequities which are inherent to American culture, the library profession, and our organization.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Core Commitments December 2020

INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

COSLA uses its unique position of leadership within the wider library sphere to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through initiatives, education, and resources, COSLA empowers and inspires libraries throughout the nation to better meet the needs of all communities and individuals.

 

ASSESSMENT & ACCOUNTABILITY

COSLA develops and nurtures the education, processes, and behaviors that address harms, mitigate risks, and provide opportunities for honest accountability. We ensure the psychological safety of all, especially those who find the courage to address behaviors that harm individuals and the collective culture.

 

ORGANIZIATIONAL CULTURE

COSLA prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion and nurtures a culture that values and integrates the voices of people of every racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, economic, educational, geographic, and disability status into programs, processes, and decision making.

 

MEMBERSHIP & BUSINESS PRACTICES

COSLA values and champions diversity among the membership, incorporates EDI principles in its business practices and supports members as they promote libraries in which all people of every racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, economic, educational, geographic, and disability status feel valued and supported.