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)

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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.

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.

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


Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, February 28, 2018

SESSION 1: What is a Diverse and Inclusive Collection?

2:00-2:35 PM ET

Kiera Parrott, LJ/SLJ Reviews Director, and Shelley Diaz, SLJ Reviews Manager and SLJTeen Editor, will explain how the discussion groups and assignments will work and highlight key concepts, including #ownvoices, privilege, and intersectionality.


Shelley Diaz Kiera Parrott
Shelley Diaz, Reviews Manager and SLJTeen Editor, School Library Journal
Kiera Parrott, Reviews Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal


2:35-2:45 PM ET

SESSION 2: How to do a Diversity Audit of Your Library Collection

2:45-3:45 PM ET

Karen Jensen 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.


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

WEEK 2: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

SESSION 1: Understanding and Identifying Stereotypes, Tropes, and Cultural Appropriation

2:00-3:00 PM ET

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.


Edi Campbell Sarah Park Dahlen Debbie Reese
Edi Campbell, MLS, Reference/Instruction Librarian, Indiana State University (IN)
Sarah Park Dahlen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Master of Library and Information Science Program, St. Catherine University (MN)
Debbie Reese, Ph.D., Publisher of American Indians in Children’s Literature


3:00-3:10 PM ET

SESSION 2: Anti-Oppression, Allyship, and Emotional Labor

3:10-4:00 PM ET

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.


Anastasia Collins
Anastasia Collins
, Liaison Librarian, Simmons College Beatley Library (MA)