Library staff work to remove the need for police officers within libraries and focus on de-escalating training.
(23 Aug 2021) There is a growing national movement of abolitionist library workers who want law enforcement out of libraries, and it has seen some success in St. Louis County, Mo. For years, county librarians worked alongside armed, uniformed, off-duty officers from St. Louis County and other municipal police departments, hired by a private company to guard six of the library’s 20 branches, five in majority-Black neighborhoods.
After protests erupted over the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd in summer 2020, a group of St. Louis County Library (SLCL) workers circulated an internal petition urging the library to live up to “our mission to increase library access for all,” demanding the library cancel its private security contract and reallocate the money for social workers in the library along with de-escalation and restorative justice training for staff.
Similar events happened across the U.S. but with no connection with others with the same goals, until Alison Macrina founded Abolitionist Library Association (AbLA) in July 2020.
Find out more from the news report here.