Equity in Action

Taking Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives to the Next Level

Live Interactive Sessions on Tuesdays from 2:00-4:00 PM ET: October 23, November 6 & November 13

In this multifaceted online course, you’ll complete work to ensure that your collections, programs, services, and staff culture are Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive—with personal coaching from experts from libraries and beyond.

Live Interactive Sessions: Tuesdays: October 23, November 6, and November 13 from 2-4 PM ET. Plus, self-guided options and additional bonus content offered so you can follow along at your own pace.

Live Sessions Bridged with Online Workshops, Video Lessons, Assignments, Discussions, and Resources designed to help you build your own diversity initiative.

Certificate of Completion Provided

Also Available On Demand!
Can’t make a live session? All sessions will be available to you on demand following the initial broadcast.

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Do you want to ensure that your collections, programs, services, and staff culture are diverse, equitable, and inclusive?

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

In this course, you will learn from leading guest speakers in sessions created specifically for librarian professionals. The online lectures and workshops outline concrete actions real libraries are taking to make their libraries more equitable today and in the future, and tools you can use to get there and assess your success and challenge you to complete work that will help you transform your library services to better meet the needs of all your users—and bring in new ones.

You’ll complete coursework to help build your own diversity initiative over 3+ weeks in an interactive online classroom environment with personal coaching from an expert in the field. In addition, you’ll have access to our essential diversity curriculum—a series of video-lessons from Library Journal and School Library Journal editors along with targeted supporting materials—to explore at your own pace.

Online Course Features

  • Instructor-led online course feature personalized interaction over 3+ weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Self-guided track with video lessons and supporting resources in the online classroom to provide a foundation for your work
  • Homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos, and other resources
  • Access all course content for 6 months after the course ends
  • Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses

Who should take this course?

This event is excellent for public librarians, both adult and youth services; academic librarians; and school librarians. The program will be especially relevant to librarians in collection development, collection management, merchandising and displays, programming, outreach, and library marketing.

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 initiatives. You’ll leave with well-developed strategies designed to make a lasting impact on your community.

Learning Outcomes:

When you attend this interactive online course, you’ll come away with:

  • The ability to audit current library collections and programs through a culturally competent lens
  • The ability to assess the inclusiveness of current collection development and RA practices, acquisitions, marketing, plus assessing scheduling practices, branch hours, and staff hiring and retention
  • The ability to recognize common problematic stereotypes, tropes, and microaggressions in media
  • A refresher on key diversity and cultural literacy concepts such as white privilege, unconscious bias, cultural appropriation, and intersectionality

The course features live guest speakers in interactive sessions with Q&A as well as self-guided “homework” and readings to support deeper learning. You’ll work in small groups with facilitators experienced  in anti-oppression work to complete assignments and field research that will fuel your diversity initiatives.

Session Themes:

  • Reviewing the Basics: Foundations of Cultural Competency
  • How to Conduct a Diversity Audit
  • Recognizing Stereotypes, Tropes, and Appropriation
  • Assessing Programming for equity and inclusiveness
  • Using Local History to Combat Racism
  • Dealing with Microaggressions

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


Course Speakers

Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Tuesday, October 23, 2018

SESSION 1: What Is a Diverse and Inclusive Collection?

2:00-2:30 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 M. Diaz, SLJ Reviews Manager & SLJTeen Editor, School Library Journal
Kiera Parrott, Reviews Director, Library Journal & School Library Journal; Former Children’s Librarian

SESSION 2: Conducting a Diversity Audit

2:30-3:15 PM ET

Karen Jensen and Annabelle Mortensen 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 AnnabelleMortensen_75x75
Karen Jensen, MLS, Creator & Administrator, Teen Librarian Toolbox
Annabelle Mortensen, Access Services Manager, Skokie Public Library (IL)


3:15-3:30 PM ET

SESSION 3: Stereotypes, Tropes, and Cultural Appropriation

3:30-4:15 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.


Jennifer Baker Naomi Bishop  Sarah Park Dahlen
Jennifer Baker, Writer, Editor, Advocate, and Founder, Minorities in Publishing podcast
Naomi Bishop, Teaching, Learning, Research Services Librarian, Northern Arizona University
Sarah Park Dahlen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Master of Library and Information Science Program, St. Catherine University (MN)

WEEK 2: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

SESSION 1: Keynote: Measuring and Assessing Inclusivity

2:00-2:45 PM ET

In the era of “big data,” how can we see the forest for the trees? What are the indicators of equity and how do we measure them effectively? Join Stephen Menendian, author of the Haas Institute’s Inclusiveness Index, a global ranking system which assesses nations based on their inclusivity and group-based marginalization, as he shares his insight into what a rigorous assessment of equity looks like. Stephen will discuss the opportunities and obstacles for understanding the the complex world we inhabit with applied lessons for your library community in measuring equity.


Stephen Menendian
Stephen Menendian
, Assistant Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society


2:45-3:00 PM ET

SESSION 2: Library Accessibility: Issues and Initiatives to Improve

3:00-3:30 PM ET

While ensuring equal and accessible library and information access, regardless of ability, is a core value of libraries, library accessibility is an area that nearly every library could improve upon. Heidi Schroeder, Accessibility Coordinator at Michigan State University Libraries, will discuss common accessibility issues facing libraries, especially related to e-resources, and share accessibility initiatives to help address them. You’ll leave with an increased awareness of accessibility best practices and information you can take back to their library to be an even better advocate for accessibility.


Heidi Schroeder
Heidi Schroeder
, Accessibility Coordinator, Michigan State University Libraries

SESSION 3: How Equitable Are Your Library Programs?

3:30-4:00 PM ET

Learn how to conduct an equity audit of your library programs and services and develop a plan of action for the future. We’ll take you through establishing a protocol for your audit, as well as what to do with the results once you have them, in this session designed to help you tackle gaps in your programming and address barriers to access in your community.


Josie Watanabe
Josie Watanabe
, Student Success Program Manager, Seattle Public Library

WEEK 3: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SESSION 1: Using Local History to Combat Racism

2:00-3:00 PM ET

Librarians Andrea Blackman, Nashville Civil Rights Room, and Angel Tucker, Johnson County, will offer a deep dive into how they use their institutions’ historical collections and resources to help patrons, students, and community members explore, critically analyze, and combat systemic racism.


AndreaBlackman_75x75 Angel Tucker
Andrea Blackman, Division Manager, Special Collections & Director, Civil Rights Room, Nashville Public Library (TN)
Angel Jewel Tucker, Youth Services Manager, Johnson County Library, Overland Park (KS)


3:00-3:15 PM ET

SESSION 2: How Equitable and Inclusive is Your Library Staff?

3:15-4:00 PM ET

A vital component in ensuring your library is equitable and inclusive is to consider staffing and representation. In this session, Debbie Anderson of Los Angeles County Public Library will share details of the iCount Initiative, which sought to address issues of equity in staffing as well as microaggressions, and empowered library staff to be change agents in their communities. You’ll learn how the program was developed and implemented, with practical takeaways you can apply to your own library.


Deborah Anderson, Youth Services Administrator, Los Angeles County Library