As announced in January, BCLA is forming an Anti-racism Committee to guide and inform the next phase of our anti-racism work. BCLA’s ongoing work is grounded in our values and guided by principles of anti-racism including:

  • Identifying and examining racism on a systemic, cultural, individual, and institutional level,
  • Challenging underlying and normalized belief systems that uphold racism,
  • Encouraging direct action on individual and collective levels,
  • Developing an action plan to actively redress racism within our organization.

BCLA is still new to this work, so our current focus and the focus of this new committee will be on the recommendations in the BCLA Current Statement Assessment Report by the Commons Consulting. While we have heard from you that there is a great deal of work to be done in the sector as a whole, BCLA only has the authority to direct changes within our own organization, and we recognize that each organization is responsible for and must do their own work. Through our anti-racism work at BCLA we will continually strive to influence, inspire, and celebrate anti-racism work in individual libraries.

We are seeking 7 additional members of the BC library community to serve on the new BCLA Anti-racism Committee, representing a variety of professional and personal lived experiences and perspectives. BCLA membership is not required, and non-librarians are encouraged to put their names forward.

The majority of the Committee will be Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC), but the Committee will also include non-IBPOC people. Anti-racism work must centre IBPOC voices but cannot and should not be the sole responsibility of IBPOC.

We recognize that the current terms of reference are traditional; they are not intended to dictate the way the Committee will work, but rather to serve as a starting place to help you decide if you want to participate. Our intention is for this to be collaborative work, so one of the first activities of the Committee will be to review the terms and determine what changes are needed to ensure they accurately represent how the group wants to work together and with BCLA.

We anticipate this committee may meet monthly (with some months off), andthe time commitment will be approximately 2 hours per month including meetings, although this may change once the Committee is formed and decides how they will work together. Meetings may occur outside of Monday-Friday 9-5 to allow all members to participate. We know that many IBPOC library workers are not librarians, which sometimes means they have less autonomy over their schedules, and we do not want meeting times to prevent them from participating.

The BCLA Board will be represented on the Committee by Tracey Therrien, President; Sajni Lacey, Incoming Treasurer; Jorge Cárdenas and Ignacio Albarracin, Directors-at Large.

If you want to put your name forward to be on the Committee, please submit an expression of interest. Contact Rina Hadziev, BCLA’s Executive Director, if you require an accommodation at any point in the expression of interest process.

We will be accepting expressions of interest until midnight on May 2. The Board representatives on the Committee will review all submissions and a response will be sent to all volunteers by the end of May. The committee members will be announced on the forum and BCLA website in early June. We will provide an update if there is any change to the expected timeline.

If you have questions, feel free to reach out to any of:

With thanks,

Tracey Therrien, BCLA President 2023-2025, and Suzanne Rackover, BCLA Incoming President