The Manitoba Library Association (MLA) and the Manitoba School Library Association (MSLA) have issued the following statement in light of the recent active harassment of public school boards and public library boards in Manitoba:
The Manitoba Library Association (MLA) and the Manitoba School Library Association (MSLA) condemn the harassment of public library boards and public school boards as an attack on public education and intellectual freedom. We stand with school, academic and public library professionals and affirm our commitment to diversity, equity, and the safeguarding of the peaceful exchange of ideas. Recent incidents, like the disruptive protest during a Louis Riel School Division school board meeting in Winnipeg and the harassment of employees and Board members of the South Central Regional Library headquartered in Winkler, underscore the urgent need to address this issue.
Such harassment disrupts the vital work of all library professionals and hinders access to diverse educational resources. We affirm the right of library staff and professionals to maintain collections that serve the needs of all members of their communities, including members of the 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.
We reject all forms of harassment and intimidation and advocate for inclusive communities where every member of the community is respected. It is crucial for community leaders to support their libraries and defend the principles of open education, intellectual freedom, inclusivity, diversity, and equal access to information. Together, we can support our diverse and democratic society that upholds these values and ensures the flourishing of knowledge, understanding, and respectful dialogue.