Are your library collections as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as they could be?
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For libraries to effectively meet their mission of serving the educational, informational, and entertainment needs of their communities, their collections must be diverse and inclusive, offering windows into and mirrors of the vast array of perspectives and stories that make up our world.

Library selectors and readers’ advisors must have a keen understanding of the basic frameworks for building and maintaining collections through an equitable lens, including the ability to recognize harmful stereotypes and apply that knowledge to a collection audit.

Certificate of Completion Provided
15 PD credits available

Learn More


Part 1: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
2:00-4:00 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:15 pm ET
What Is a Diverse and Inclusive Collection?  
Mahnaz Dar, Reference and Professional Reading Editor at Library Journal and School Library Journal, will explain how the discussion groups and assignments will work and highlight key concepts, including #ownvoices, privilege, and intersectionality. 

Mahnaz Dar, Reference and Professional Reading Editor, Library Journal/School Library Journal

Session 2 | 2:15-3:00 pm ET
Collection Management Strategies to Enact Change at Your Library
Being aware of a lack of diversity in your library collections and having the intention to make a change is important, but having a plan of action to address these problems is where the magic happens. In this session, you’ll learn concrete strategies for making lasting change in your approach to collection development and management, ensuring your library’s collections are inclusive. Speaker:
Robin Bradford, Collection Development Librarian, Pierce County Library System (WA)

Intermission | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

Session 3 | 3:15-4:00 pm ET
Conducting a Diversity Audit of Your Collections
In this session, we’ll discuss both the process of conducting a diversity audit and what comes next after you’ve successfully audited your collection. You’ll learn how to plan a diversity audit, which salient data points should be included, how to gather the requisite information, how to set goals to address gaps, and how to make diversity and inclusion natural parts of collection management and promotion. You’ll also come away with an understanding of what to do with your data once you have it, how to create a plan of implementation, and where to go next.

Karen Jensen, MLS, Creator and Administrator, Teen Librarian Toolbox

Part 2: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 
2:00–4:15 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:30 PM ET
Stereotypes, Tropes, and Cultural Appropriation: A Collection Development Deep Dive
Some common stereotypes in books and media are easy to spot—others require a more fine-tuned understanding of culture and history. In this series of enlightening sessions, you will learn how to spot problematic stereotypes and tropes and how to avoid unintentionally perpetuating such depictions. You will hear from several experts in the field about the ways that specific marginalized cultures—Native American, Asian American, African American, and LGBTQIA+—are portrayed in mainstream media, their cultural traditions misunderstood or misrepresented, and their stories appropriated by cultural outsiders. You’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to build a more representative, inclusive collection at your library or institution.
Jennifer Baker, Writer, Editor, Advocate, and Founder, "Minorities in Publishing" podcast
Session 2 | 2:30-3:00
Speaker: Ariana Hussain, Teacher Librarian, Co-Founder, Hijabi Librarians

Intermission | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

Session 3 | 3:15-3:45
Speaker: Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Reference Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society

Session 4 | 3:45-4:15
Speaker: Kara Stewart, Author, Teacher, Literacy Specialist


Part 3: Tuesday, November 10, 2020,
2:00-4:15 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 pm ET
Collection Development and Readers’ Advisory for the Inclusive Librarian
Diversifying your collection begins with diversifying your suggestions. Learn from Becky Spratford of how to locate and combat implicit racism and sexism in our resources and provide a wider range of suggestions to our readers in this compelling session. Spratford will explain how encouraging readers to read more diversely results in libraries buying more diversely, and share ideas for how you can include your whole staff in the process. You’ll come away with an understanding for how equity work can become a part of your daily practice via interactions with your patrons, staff, and wider community.

Becky Spratford, Readers’ Advisory Specialist

Intermission | 2:45-3:00 pm ET


Session 2 | 3:00-4:00 pm ET
Equity Work Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
In this closing conversation, you’ll hear from two experts how you can sustain equity, diversity, and inclusion work at your library and within your collections for the long haul. You’ll learn how to spot the problems and thoughtfully mobilize to enact solutions that prioritize libreratory, antiracist goals. You’ll come away with an understanding of how collection assessment and development fit into the larger picture of the library as an institution, and how you and your colleagues can ensure equity reaches both.

Ozy Aloziem, MSW, Community Connections Program Coordinator, Denver Central Library (CO)
Becker Parkhurst-Strout, Adult Collection Development Librarian, Denver Public Library (CO)

Can’t make a live session? No worries. All sessions will be available to you “on-demand” following the initial broadcast.

In this course, you’ll learn from an outstanding group of experts as they explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections. You’ll conduct a diversity audit of your collections, and learn how to include diverse books, wider perspectives, #OwnVoices, and how to be both more responsive to the community you serve and more reflective of the diversity of our world. 

The course will cover a wide range of topics, helping teach librarians how to evaluate books and media through an inclusive lens that includes the experiences of LGBTQIA people, people of color, and ethnic, cultural, religious minorities, and more.

Learning Outcomes:

  • The ability to assess current library collections, book promotions, and displays through a diverse lens in order to assess gaps in collections and service areas.
  • An understanding of key diversity and cultural literacy concepts such as white privilege, unconscious bias, cultural appropriation, and intersectionality.
  • The ability to recognize common problematic stereotypes, tropes, and microaggressions in media.
  • The ability to assess the diversity and inclusiveness of current collection development and RA practices.
  • Guidance on planning and executing a diversity audit.
  • Tools, tips, and advice on how to better diversify collections and displays.
  • A plan of action to better diversify your library collections and address gap areas that will transform your understanding of your library users and the services you provide.
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