In full support of the American Library Association’s condemnation of the January 6, 2021 violence and attack on Congress, the Arizona Library Association (AzLA), in the strongest possible terms, condemns the insurrection at the U.S Capitol. The violent takeover of the United States Capitol building is unacceptable and we denounce those who participated in, and those that instigated, this tragedy.
These horrific acts were fueled by lies and disinformation that go against the core values of librarianship. The fraudulent claims against electoral integrity set that crowd in motion and these lies need to be identified as such. The concepts of truth and objectivity of information have been questioned for years now and become blurred by disinformation. We agree functioning governments cannot exist without truth and objectivity of information. We must advocate against this assault on our core values. Truth is essential to human survival and truth will never be extirpated from us. Truth is also about the facts of how things are, not how we wish things to be. Libraries are in a unique position to advocate for truth of information through education. Information literacy has been identified as one of the most feasible and effective methods in combatting disinformation. Libraries are assumed to contain materials that present a true picture of the world; we stand by that assumption, and will use those materials and our skills as librarians to strengthen our communities.
We would be derelict in our duty as information professionals if we did not further condemn the preparation for, and the response to, the assailants on the capitol, and racist, and anti-semetic sentiments related to it. There is no denying the preparation for, and the response to, the violent, armed mob that stormed the Capitol building, and the preparation for, and the response to, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters this past summer, were very different. Compared to the BLM protest marchers this summer, the mostly white insurrectionists were met with comparatively little resistance. They easily breached the perimeter of the capitol despite the obvious danger they presented to everyone. Even more unforgivable, the lawbreakers were allowed to leave the building peacefully. This obvious double standard cannot be overlooked, nor condoned. We cannot unsee, nor forget the horrors of what transpired on Jan. 6, 2021, our democracy was breached and weakened. This was an overt attack on our democracy, but our democracy is breached and weakened every day that we are subjected to white supremecy, racism and discrimination. There is no way to progress as a democracy, as a country, and even as humans, if we do not overcome this. We should all be respected and all show respect. As with our colleagues around the country, we dedicate ourselves and the membership that we represent to the support of social justice.
The Executive Board of the Arizona Library Association