Equity in Action: Taking Your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives to the Next Level Feb 2020

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: February 25, March 3 & 10, 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.




Course Overview

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 EDI experts in speaker sessions created specifically for library professionals. You’ll learn about the concrete actions library leaders are taking to make their libraries more equitable today and in the future, and the tools that make it possible. Practical coursework, along with targeted support, will take you from  theory to application, helping you to transform your library services to better meet the needs of all your users—and bring in new ones.

You’ll complete assignments to 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 foundational bonus content—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.

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 assignments, readings, and weekly discussion topics 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.


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.

Online course features:

  • Instructor-led online course features 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. 

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. 

Part 1: Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 2:00-4:15 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. 

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

Session 2 | 2:30-3:15 PM ET

Opening Keynote: Details to be announced soon

Intermission | 3:15-3:30 PM ET

Session 3 | 3:30-4:15 PM ET

Conducting a Diversity Audit
In this session, 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.

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

Part 2: Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 2:00-4:00 PM ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 PM

How Equitable and Inclusive is Your Library Staff?
A vital component in ensuring your library is equitable and inclusive is to consider staffing and representation. In this session, you’ll learn how to address issues of equity in staffing, handle workplace microaggressions, and empower library staff to be change agents in their communities. You’ll learn how one library’s staff equity initiative was developed and implemented, with practical takeaways you can apply to your own library.

Speaker: To be announced soon

Session 2 | 2:30-3:00 PM ET

How Equitable Are Your Library Programs?
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.

Speaker: To be announced soon

Intermission | 2:45-3:00 PM ET

Session 3 | 3:00-3:45 PM ET

Library Accessibility: Issues and Initiatives to Improve
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.

Speaker: To be announced soon

Part 3 - Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 2:00-4:00 PM ET

Session 1 | 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Using Local History to Combat Racism
Librarian Andrea Blackman, Nashville Civil Rights Room, 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.

Speakers: Andrea Blackman, Division Manager, Special Collections & Director, Civil Rights Room, Nashville Public Library, (TN)

Intermission | 3:00-3:15 PM ET

Session 2 | 3:15-4:00 PM ET

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. We 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.

Speaker: Anastasia Collins, Research + Instruction Librarian, Simmons College Beatley Library (MA)

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Andrea Blackman

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Anastasia Collins

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Mahnaz Dar

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Karen Jensen







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