Although they make up less than 10 percent of the industry, black librarians play a crucial role in our society.

Librarians have superpowers. This was true in the late 90s, when the original Marvel spider woman was a A black librarian named Valery – and this was true in 1905, when the son of two previously enslaved black men discovered the first library in the United States which served and was fully staffed by black Americans, bringing new resources and opportunities to the community.

And this is true now, as black librarians across the country go to work every day, either in public libraries or in school libraries. Books that tell the truth about the history of racism in America – or written by black people – are coming out forced off the shelves.

The whole idea of ​​restricting access to reading materials is usually and especially something against which a black librarian should mobilize.

Tracy Hall, executive director of the American Library Association

Restricting literacy is a painful part of the history of blacks in this country, and it is an important part of history for black librarians in understanding their role, says Tracy Hall, executive director of the American Library Association. Prior to the emancipation of blacks, most southern states severely punished (e.g., cut off fingers and toes) for reading or teaching others to read, and whites could be fined, flogged, or imprisoned for giving them books.

“The whole idea of ​​restricting access to reading materials is usually and especially what a black librarian should mobilize against. We should, “says Hall.” It should be part of our job in this area – protecting the right to read. “

Why we need black librarians

Representative issues, period. But once the icon of civil rights MP John Lewis said that Internet access will become a 21st century civil rights issue. And 2016 Pew Research Center A study of library use found that “library users who enjoy library computers and Internet connections are more likely to be young, black, women, and low-income,” with 42 percent of library users with Negro libraries having access to these resources. .

As a librarian, Hall believes that Lewis “really honed” access to information in general.

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