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MLA Collection Development Caucus Statement

The African American Medical Librarians Alliance (AAMLA) Caucus posted a June 1, 2020, statement regarding police brutality, racial oppression, and state-sanctioned violence.

The Collection Development Caucus supports and stands in solidarity with AAMLA and all Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) MLA members. We condemn police brutality and systemic racism in all its forms.

The caucus leadership encourages our members to stand up against racism, oppression, and inequity in their communities. In particular, we recognize the uniquely othering qualities of using descriptive practices rooted in racist ideals and the lack of diverse voices in published works. We urge members to consider collecting materials written about and by marginalized and underrepresented groups. Our diverse patrons, learner populations, patients, faculty, and clinicians should see themselves reflected in the resources we purchase, subscribe to, and promote. We must push vendors to include these voices in their products and push back when diversity, equity, and inclusion are not valued, including in descriptive language and taxonomies.

One concrete step our caucus can take will be to ensure that our “Collection Development Best Practices” document reflects the importance of actively including, pursuing, and promoting perspectives from marginalized and underrepresented groups in our collections. Information is not neutral, and our collection development practices should not be either.

Iris Kovar-Gough, AHIP, Chair

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