Youth Gun Violence: A Call to Action

Our goal is to conduct a community conversation in all ALA conference cities, adopting an issue that is specifically challenging for that community. – Barbara Jones, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Hope-2-570x379This year’s ALA conference will take place later this month in Chicago. It could be said that one issue challenging for this community is gun violence. A‘ recent CNN article‘ reported that homicides are on the decline nationally, but not in Chicago. Last year, a publication from Chicago Northwestern University reported that the city has one of the highest youth crime rates in the country. After many weekends, stories involving youth violence make’ Chicago Tribune headlines.

What if anything, does this mean for libraries? Chances are that many librarians (and not just those in Chicago) work with and develop relationships with teens that might be from neighborhoods with persistent gun-related crime. At this year’s Annual Conference in Chicago, a community conversation about gun violence, ‘ include young people that have been affected will take place on Friday, June 28.

To find out more about this scheduled ALA session, I invited Barbara Jones, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom who wrote an article in the May issue of American Libraries magazine, on Gun Violence, Videogames, and Libraries to answer a few questions. Felicia Shakespeare, a presenter for the program, and the Library Media Specialist for Betsy Ross/Oneida Cockrell PreK-8 School in Chicago, also gave some context for this program that promises to be a ‘call to action’. Continue reading Youth Gun Violence: A Call to Action