Statement from the Executive Board following the U.S. Capitol Breach on January 6, 2021
It is with heavy hearts that we join our fellow Americans in witnessing the tragic events that unfolded in our nation’s capital on January 6, 2021. The members of the Arkansas Library Association unite to condemn this violence, as well as disinformation that threatens open, secure democracy. We support the work of first responders and law enforcement in bringing the grievous events of this week to a safe and stable resolution, and we remain steadfastly committed to providing crucial services and resources in our local communities.
The tumultuous events of the past decade clearly demonstrate that the American people are subject to undue influence from those who would seek to undermine democracy, the well-being of the American people, and our nation’s security for their own private gain, as well as those who are willing to provide a stage for them in the interest of ratings and advertising revenue. As information professionals, our job as librarians is to stand in the gap. We are committed to providing the residents of Arkansas with the tools needed to understand, evaluate, and think critically about their world. Our professional responsibilities transcend politics as we remain dedicated to providing vital access to information and opportunity for those who seek it, and for those who may have nowhere else to turn.
Libraries are often referred to as the cornerstone of democracy. On the morning of Thursday, January 7, 2021, Arkansas library personnel went to work, joining their colleagues across the country in pursuing the age-old mission of libraries to supply a supportive environment for our students, patrons, and communities to learn and grow. Now more than ever this work is valuable and timely. Whatever the events of the day, we must persevere in our role as guiding lights to educate, encourage, and empower those around us – this mission does not end.
For those seeking to make sense of this moment, understand our current challenges, and navigate the future, take advantage of your local library. We are here for you.
Arkansas Library Association