The Florida Association of College & Research Libraries (FACRL) is committed to supporting our academic library colleagues and the principles protected by academic freedom and intellectual freedom. Academic libraries in Florida serve the research needs of students and scholars at more than 170 colleges and universities across the state, including libraries at public and private institutions as well as multi-use facilities. Library workers represent the communities they serve, and include people of color, as well as people that identify as being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Libraries have long been safe havens for the free pursuit of ideas. We provide access to materials for the sake of learning and to help society face the challenges of the day. Advocating for intellectual freedom is a core value of the library profession. We cannot do this without safeguards to our own academic freedom.
Intellectual freedom continues to be challenged across the state of Florida from K-12 to higher education. Florida ranked second in the number of book challenges in 2022, and the numbers continue to increase. The State of Florida is demanding an increasing presence in higher education. Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, laws banning diversity, equity, and inclusion programs on college and university campuses, as well as those censoring educators and librarians with the threat of fines and loss of license, have gone into effect. Library workers are being silenced. This new legislation has caused many Library workers to limit the work they do, reframe their research, or flee the state. Reductions in our workforce will cause communities to suffer.
As attacks on Library workers continue across the state, FACRL hopes to serve our members through the following actions:
Creating a safe space for professional discourse through interest groups, annual conferences, and other association activities
Respecting the privacy of our membership
Sharing resources for professional and legal support
Advocating for the needs of our members through the Florida Library Association (FLA), Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), and the American Library Association (ALA)
We encourage you to reach out to an FACRL Board member if you are in need of support. As we all make sense of the implications of new legislation on the work we do, FACRL hopes to build our capacity to support our members. We hope you will join us in this effort to build a strong network of academic library professionals across the state of Florida.
Challenges to Tenure
Financial & Legal Support
In addition to the resources above, we encourage you to seek out relevant guidelines from within your institution. These may include the following: