The BC Libraries Association (BCLA) has partnered with The Commons Consulting to begin the ongoing work of BCLA’s long-term goal of becoming an anti-racist organization. In 2021 the BCLA board committed multi-year funding to anti-racism work, and after an open call for proposals The Commons was selected as the consultants to support BCLA for the first year, which started in the Spring of 2022. We want to express our thanks to the Black, Indigenous, and racialized members who have invested time and energy to bring us to this point – your contributions and feedback have helped to set us on a better path.
Reports and Resources
Announcements and Updates
Invitation to Participate In the Current State Assessment Survey to Help Shape BCLA's Anti-Racism Work (closed January 13, 2023)
Please consider participating in the BCLA current state assessment survey, and sharing this invitation with others in the BC library community. The survey will remain open until January 13, 2023.
BCLA is embarking on a journey to become an anti-racist organization, supported by The Commons Consulting and a project advisory group. This survey, created in collaboration with the project advisory group, is part of a multi-phase approach that will move BCLA towards becoming an anti-racist organization.
About the Anti-Racism Project Advisory Group 2022-2023
BCLA’s anti-racism work over the next year is being guided by the Anti-Racism Project Advisory Group (PAG) composed of members of the BC library community. An open call was put out for members in June, 2022 to submit an expression of interest. The composition of the PAG is a mix of perspectives and expertise, and has regional representation while also being representative of the diversity of the BC libraries community.
Minutes of PAG meetings will be posted, and serve as one way for BCLA members and the larger BC library community to stay informed about the work being done by this group. Minutes are posted after each meeting in draft form to prevent delays in sharing information, and updated after they are revised and approved at the subsequent meeting.
Overview of Planned BCLA Anti-Racism Work 2022-2023
The BC Libraries Association (BCLA) has partnered with The Commons Consulting to begin the ongoing work of BCLA’s long-term goal of becoming an anti-racist organization. In 2021 the BCLA board committed multi-year funding to anti-racism work, and after an open call for proposals The Commons was selected as the consultants to support BCLA for the first year, which started in the Spring of 2022. This initial current state assessment phase (Phase 1) will run until the Spring of 2023.
The objective of this initial phase includes designing and facilitating a current state assessment of the BCLA’s anti-racist and justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) efforts and proposing recommendations on building more just, equitable and inclusive organizational processes and practices. Deliberate consideration will also be given to how existing BCLA initiatives, that hold mandates connected to anti-racism and JEDI, can be built upon and supported.
View the Timeline.
BCLA Anti-Racism Project Advisory Group - Call For Members (closed June 17, 2022)
BCLA is embarking on a journey to become an anti-racist organization, supported by The Commons Consulting. This will require ongoing and dedicated effort and funding, as there will always be more to do. We want to express our gratitude to the Indigenous, Black, and racialized members, past and present, who have invested time and energy to bring us to this point.
The initial phase, from March 2022-February 2023, is focused on information gathering and building a foundation by increasing staff and Board competencies. It will result in the development of a Final Report that outlines the organization’s current state and readiness for change with necessary recommendations to assist in future organizational transformation. This will serve as a guide for the ongoing equity, diversity, and inclusion, and anti-racism work of BCLA. The project team is comprised of staff from BCLA and The Commons, and will lead with a change management approach centering IBPOC voices and using an intersectional and equity lens in all aspects of the work.
We are looking for members of the BC library community to guide this work by being part of a Project Advisory Group (PAG). The PAG will be the main advisory body for the project. Its primary mandate is to provide guidance to the project team as they design and carry out the community engagement aspects of the project.
The Commons Consulting Chosen to Lead BCLA’s Anti-Racism Initiative
On behalf of the BCLA Board and staff, I’m happy to share that BCLA will be working with The Commons Consulting, led by Adeline Huynh, as we strive to become an anti-racist organization. We were fortunate to have many excellent responses to our call for proposals, and felt Adeline and her Collaborators had the necessary experience, approach, and flexibility to best meet the needs of BCLA.
The Commons Consulting is built upon decades of experience in justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI) and anti-racism work in multiple sectors and settings. They seek to weave together strategic and innovative thinking more meaningfully with principles of reciprocity, collaboration and transparency.
The Board was drawn to the Commons Consulting’s recognition of the need to address the tension between traditional approaches to EDI work and the work of Truth and Reconciliation, as well as the need to deeply consider intersections of identity to build responses that capture the complexities of our identities and realities.
We’ll share more information and opportunities to engage as we move forward in the coming months. If you’re attending the BC Library Conference, we encourage you to take the opportunity to hear Adeline speak as the Thursday morning keynote on April 21.
We look forward to working together to build a foundation for BCLA’s anti-racism work.
British Columbia Library Association
Anti-Racism Consultant – Call For Proposals (closed January 10th, 2022)
BCLA is seeking an anti-racism consultant or consulting group to advise and support the Association’s work toward our goal of becoming an anti-racist organization. We are at the beginning of this journey and hope this relationship will continue in subsequent years as our skills develop and our needs evolve.
Future Directions of BCLA and Anti-Racism: A Message From the BCLA President & Incoming President
October 6, 2021
Dear BCLA Members,
BCLA needs to become an anti-racist organization. As President and Incoming President of BCLA, we believe in that goal and are personally committing to hold board and staff accountable to doing the necessary work. In conversations with the Board, we can tell you that they are all in agreement that this must be done, and acknowledge this will take ongoing effort, as there will always be more to do. Over the past year many of you have expressed how important this is to you, and we want you to know that we have heard you and agree.
At our September meeting, the Board agreed on the importance and urgency of this work and allocated $10,000 for the remainder of 2021 to begin this work, including hiring a consultant. Going forward we will have dedicated funding in our annual budgets to support the ongoing work that we will be doing.
We will be working with the consultant to establish a plan and will be sharing a timeline with BCLA members to hold ourselves accountable and ensuring ongoing action. Staff will also be reporting to the Board on progress at every meeting. We anticipate the plan will include anti-racism training for Board and staff and opportunities for input and feedback from members. We expect a review of BCLA structure, policies, and procedures with a focus on anti-racism will be necessary.
We expect we may establish a committee in future, but first we need to take the time to engage the membership to tell us what is needed and what to prioritize, and we will ensure that formation of any committee includes an open call for participation.
We want to express our thanks to the Black, Indigenous, and racialized members who have invested time and energy to bring us to this point – your contributions and feedback have helped to set us on a better path.
BCLA has made mistakes, and despite our best efforts we know we will likely make more as we move forward. When we do, we will listen, learn, and strive to do better.
Todd Mundle, President
Tracey Therrien, Incoming President