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Social Justice: Home

"We can choose either to walk the high road of human brotherhood or to tread the low road of man's inhumanity to man." --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


The staff of the Tennessee State Library and Archives affirms its ongoing dedication to treating all people with respect and dignity. Libraries and archives have a long history of working to provide equal access to resources and services for all communities. We also recognize our duty to achieve an archival collection that reflects the experiences of Tennessee’s diverse population from urban to rural, farm to factory, and across the demographic spectrum. We acknowledge that our work in this area is never complete and remain available to community partners from every part of our society. We will continue to apply the highest standards of professionalism and respect in our work as we welcome visitors and develop new ways for Tennesseans to access information and interact with their historical records. As individuals we stand with all persons seeking justice and an end to any discriminatory practice that undermines the value of human life.

Start Here

Developed at the University of North Carolina, Project READY is a series of free, online professional development modules for school and public youth services librarians, library administrators, and others interested in improving their knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. The primary focus of the Project READY curriculum is on improving relationships with, services to, and resources for youth of color and Native youth.


From Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. We are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.

Tennessee Library Association Statement on Racial Justice

The Tennessee Library Association (TLA) is incensed and heartbroken that systemic racism and violence against persons of color remain issues in our society.  It is unconscionable that our members and patrons still suffer from terror, discrimination and exclusion solely based upon the color of their skin. We stand in solidarity with the American Library Association and other sister affiliates in strongly condemning the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and all who have been victimized by racial aggression.  We strongly condemn the institutional racism that remains prevalent in our society and that impacts the lives of our brothers and sisters of color, including librarians, library staff and our library patrons.  This is not a political issue but a human rights issue. 

We, as a library association, stand for equity, diversity and inclusion; but more importantly, we will ensure that we are living those ideals in examining ourselves and our organization.  We challenge our member libraries to do the same.

The Tennessee Library Association stands steadfast in the belief that all libraries provide a welcoming and safe environment.  To that end, TLA, in concert with the TLA Diversity & Inclusion Committee, sets the following goals:

  • Provide training and resources for the Board, members, and libraries to examine policies, procedures, and actions to ensure that all are welcome in our libraries and association.
  • Ensure that TLA is a truly inclusive environment for all librarians and staff of color and identify barriers to the profession and association.
  • Provide educational programs for librarians and staff on issues of racism, privilege, and breaking down barriers for patrons.
  • Encourage libraries to continue to create and promote diverse programs and collections to share with their communities and patrons.

This statement was approved unanimously by the Tennessee Library Association Advisory Council and Executive Board June 12, 2020.

Improving Library Services

"The time is always right to do what is right."                --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remembering John Lewis

Apple home page honors Rep. John Lewis - CNET

Apple, Inc., transformed its home page in July to honor Civil rights icon John Lewis.

In the Tennessee Share-It Catalog

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