February 9, 2021
Contact:             Lisa J. O’Donnell, CAE
Telephone:        (850) 270-9205
Email:                [email protected]                                                                                                                                               


Florida Library Association Announces Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Value Statements

The Florida Library Association (FLA) is pleased to announce the release of 8 core value statements, as adopted by the board of directors unanimously, to codify the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility into the organization. As part of its 2020-2022 FLA strategic plan, the board of directors sought to embed the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility into the organization’s work by appointing a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) task force to develop these statements on behalf of FLA. FLA is proud to celebrate Black History month in February and to re-affirm FLA’s commitment to diversity.

In May 2020, FLA President, Laura I. Spears, PhD, announced her Lead Inclusively initiative, with a goal for libraries to commit to kindness, care and decency and to make the promise of libraries – access, democracy, intellectual freedom, diversity, and privacy among others - truly extends to all.

In an open statement announcing the Lead Inclusively theme, Spears wrote, “Every day, Florida Libraries do vital work to serve our diverse communities. Through…difficult times, we continue this service, but we must also strive to uplift our communities through intentional, anti-racist actions. I urge all Florida libraries to provide resources for those who wish to educate themselves and continue to provide safe spaces and to support those who rely on us.”

DEIA Task Force chair, Cheryl Wolfe said of the task force, “The task force has been challenged to identify ways to make FLA more diverse and inclusive, and I am very proud of this dedicated team for putting together a strong mix of core and aspirational statements. The values statements solidify FLA’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. These statements set a positive direction for the association’s business and for all library workers in Florida.”

Together with then-co-chair Kelvin Watson, former Director of Broward County Library, Wolfe led the 10-person task force through a series of important and uncomfortable conversations. Those conversations resulted in the impactful value statements here:

  • We view diversity as a strength and are committed to growing, retaining, and supporting a diverse membership.  We ensure members feel a sense of welcoming and belonging through an inclusive membership experience.
  • We develop and strengthen outreach and partnerships.
  • We ensure every aspect of the association’s business reflects the diverse and inclusive communities and library users served and the world we want to live in. Every team is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • We search for creative solutions and manage the association’s resources wisely. 
  • We are focused on achieving meaningful and actionable results that support the enhancement of the Library profession in Florida.
  • We treat people with dignity and professionalism, and we strive to give everyone access to the same opportunities.
  • We support all library workers and recognize that all career levels are integral to the success of the library.
  • We use leadership and collaboration to achieve positive outcomes for members, library workers, library users and the communities they serve.



The Florida Library Association is a statewide organization that promotes excellence in Florida libraries by advocating strongly for libraries and providing high quality professional and leadership development for a diverse community of library staff, volunteers, and supporters.