62 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Next Steps for ARL From the Desk of Mary Lee Kennedy, ARL Executive Director This has been a year of tremendous turmoil and uncertainty—the negative impact on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and their communities has been devastating. With the heightened awareness of too-long-existing systemic societal inequities and a renewed commitment to enduring social justice, particularly as it relates to racism and systems of oppression, the Association of Research Libraries reviewed and deepened its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all it does, as well as its own structures. ARL will enhance its diversity fellows and scholars programs by a commitment to recruiting, retaining, and advancing participants’ careers. ARL will formalize its mentorship program to focus on long- term relationships including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color sponsorship. At the same time, as this article articulates, library leaders need the support and resources to develop the necessary skills and habits to design and implement systems of structural equity, and to lead inclusive organizations. Steps ARL is taking in 2021 include the following: ARL will review and, as appropriate, adopt the recommendations of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)– ARL–ALA–Public Library Association (PLA) Task Force on Building Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity Framework60 in ARL’s professional development programs. ARL received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to plan a Diversity Institute and will launch the planning later in 2021 to take advantage of the Racial Equity Framework recommendations. Recently the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) completed their work on strategies and practices for hiring and retaining diverse talent. ARL will review the CARL toolkit in the context of helping members to use it.
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