Free webinar: We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In 8-5-2020

From: "Sharon Rawlins [NJYAC]">
Subject: Free webinar: We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In 8-5-2020
Date: July 24th 2020



In 1939, five Black men walked into the all-white Alexandria (Va.) Library and asked for library cards. When they were turned down, each of them silently took a seat and began reading.

Learn how the library commemorated the 80th anniversary of this historic protest in a free webinar from ALA’s Public Programs Office / Programming Librarian.


“ALA’s Excellence in Library Programming Award Presents: We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In”

Wednesday, August 5

1-2 p.m. CT, 2-3 pm ET

Cost: Free


·      Register for the webinar:

·      Read a Q&A with the library director


Join Alexandria (Va.) Library to learn about their We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In, a yearlong celebration of the 80th anniversary of a historic protest at the library. The program was the winner of ALA's 2020 ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award.


In the 1930s, lie most libraries in the Jim Crow South, Alexandria Library did not allow access to African Americans. In 1939, after an ongoing effort to convince officials to establish equal access to community resources, 26-year-old resident and attorney Samuel W. Tucker organized five other African American residents to participate in a sit-in protest.


On August 21, 1939, William “Buddy” Evans, Morris Murray, Edward Gaddis, Clarence Strange and Otto Tucker each asked to register for a library card. After being turned down, each sat silently at a different table and began to read a library book. Police officers arrested the group and charged them with disorderly conduct.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of this historic protest, the library engaged the community through school visits, a yearlong film festival, anniversary week events, posters, commemorative library cards, pins and postcards. The events, which also involved Alexandria city leadership, drew standing-room-only crowds and served as a model for programming for other libraries across the nation.


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

American Library Association
Public Programs Office


Please note ALA’s new address:

American Library Association

225 N Michigan Ave

Suite 1300

Chicago, IL 60601



All the best,


Sharon Rawlins, MLS, she/her/hers

Youth Services Specialist for Lifelong Learning

NJ State Library

185 West State St.

P.O. Box 520

Trenton, NJ 08625-0520" style="color: #2199e8; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; line-height: 1.3; margin: 0; padding: 0; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">

609-278-2640 ext. 116

609-278-2650 – fax



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