Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

What You Need to Know to Build and Market Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Collections

February 28 & March 14, 2018

Live Sessions on February 28 & March 14 from 2:004:00 PM ET; bridged with homework, online workshops and discussions.
(also available on-demand if you miss the live broadcast)

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Cultural Literacy

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive—and Well-Read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

Library Journal and School Library Journal have developed a foundational course specifically for librarian professionals who work in collections and readers’ advisory (RA).

We’ve convened an outstanding group of experts to explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections. This course will cover a wide range of topics through a diverse lens that includes, but is not limited to, the experiences of LGBTQIA people, Native people, people of color, people with disabilities, non-binary or gender non-conforming people, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

Here’s what you’ll come away with:

  • 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.

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Project-Based Learning

Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats, and workshop practical solutions in groups, with guidance from an advisor, to map out your own cultural literacy and inclusion programs or initiatives. You’ll leave with well-developed strategies designed to make a lasting impact on your community.

Online Course Features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available if you can’t join live)
  • Weekly assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help guide your work

Who should take this course?

Public librarians, both adult and youth services; academic librarians; school librarians. The program will be especially relevant to librarians in collection development, collection management, merchandising and displays, and library marketing and outreach.


Course Dates and Times

WEEK 1: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 | 2:00–4:00 PM ET  (incl. 15 minute break)

WEEK 2: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 2:00–4:00 PM ET  (incl. 15 minute break)


Session Themes

What is a ‘Diverse and Inclusive’ Collection?

Library collections should reflect their community’s needs, offering both windows and mirrors for readers. But what does a truly diverse and inclusive collection look like? How are they similar and different across various types of libraries and communities? Do your current practices and policies support, ignore, or hinder efforts at diversity and inclusion? Participants will discuss the need diverse books, explain and explore #ownvoices titles, and offer advice on making the selection of inclusive literature an intentional part of collection development and readers’ advisory.

How to Do a Diversity Audit

In this session, participants will discuss the need for librarians to perform regular audits of their collections and programs in order to better align offerings to community need, identify gaps, and set benchmarks for diversification. Participants will learn how to perform 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.

What is White Privilege and Unconscious/Implicit Bias?

In this session, participants will learn about and explore the concept of white privilege, as first articulated by feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh. Participants will be asked to interrogate their own experiences of privilege, “unpack their invisible backpack,” and reflect on ways that privilege affects their perspectives on library services and literature.

What is Intersectionality?

An introduction to intersectionality, a framework developed by Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw. Participants will explore the ways in which different identities experience oppression in varying ways and how those intersecting identities shape lived experiences, options, and perspectives.

Stereotypes, Tropes, and Cultural Appropriation

Some common stereotypes in books and media are easy to spot—others require a more fine-tuned understanding of culture and history. In this session, librarians will learn how to spot problematic stereotypes and tropes—and how to avoid unintentionally perpetuating such depictions. Participants will hear from several experts in the field about the ways that specific marginalized cultures—Native American, Asian American, and African American—are portrayed in mainstream media, their cultural traditions misunderstood or misrepresented, and their stories appropriated by cultural outsiders.

Anti-Oppression, Allyship, and Emotional Labor

Librarians committed to building strong and diverse collections and programs may wonder what else they can do to be positive agents of change in their communities. While there is far more than can be and is being done than we can cover in a single session, we’ll look at what it means to be an “ally,” how librarians can strive for social justice in their spheres of influence, and make space for marginalized voices and viewpoints. Anastasia Collins, librarian at Simmons College, will explore the experience of emotional labor and offer ways that diverse coalitions of professionals and advocates can support each other’s efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.