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

The important topic of diversity, inclusivity, and equity continues to evolve, and libraries need to play a leading role in creating a lens that informs and inspires their communities.

Over three weeks, learn how to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable space through programming, hiring, collections, and services in our multifaceted online course. Discover strategies and complete tactical and applicable assignments —with personal coaching from experts from libraries and beyond.

Group discounts are available! Please email us for information.



We offer a certificate of completion with 15 hours of PD credit at the end of the course.  

Live Interactive Sessions: Thursdays: October 3, 10 & 17 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.

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

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 library leaders are taking to make their libraries more equitable today and in the future, and include tools you can use to get there and assess your success. Practical coursework will help you transform your library services to better meet the needs of all your users—and bring in new ones.

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

You’ll complete assignments 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-based lessons from Library Journal and School Library Journal editors along with targeted supporting materials—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 “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.


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: Thursday, October 3, 2019, 2-4:15 PM ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:30 pm ET

What Is a Diverse and Inclusive Collection? 
Kiera Parrott, LJ/SLJ Reviews Director, and Mahnaz Dar,  Reference and Professional Reading Editor, LJ & SLJournal, will explain how the discussion groups and assignments will work and highlight key concepts, including #ownvoices, privilege, and intersectionality. 


Kiera Parrott, Reviews Director, Library Journal & School Library Journal; Former Children’s Librarian

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

Session 2 | 2:30-3:15 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.


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

Intermission | 3:15-3:30 pm ET

Session 3 | 3:30-4:15 pm ET

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.


Part 1:  Jennifer Baker, Writer, Editor, Advocate, and Founder, Minorities in Publishing podcast

Part 2: Naomi Bishop, Teaching, Learning, Research Services Librarian, Northern Arizona University

Part 3: Sarah Park Dahlen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Master of Library and Information Science Program, St. Catherine University (MN)

Part 2: Tuesday, October 10, 2019, 2-4 PM ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:30

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: Deborah Anderson, Assistant Director of Education and Engagement, LA County Library (CA)

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: Heidi Schroeder, Accessibility Coordinator, Michigan State University Libraries

Part 3 - Tuesday, October 17, 2018, 2-4 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Using Local History to Combat Racism

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.


Part 1 (2:00-2:30): Andrea Blackman, Division Manager, Special Collections & Director, Civil Rights Room, Nashville Public Library, (TN)

Part 2 (2:30-3:00): Angel Jewel Tucker, Youth Services Manager, Johnson County Library, Overland Park (KS)

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: Nicole A. Cooke, PhD, MEd, MLS, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, College of Information and Communications, University of South Carolina

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Jennifer Baker

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Andrea Blackman

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Shelley Diaz

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Karen Jensen

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Kiera Parrott

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Heidi Schroeder

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Angel Jewel Tucker


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