Evaluating, Auditing, and Diversifying Your Collections

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

Live Interactive Sessions: Tuesdays: November 5, 12, & 19 from 2-4 PM ET. Plus, self-guided options and additional bonus content offered so you can follow along at your own pace.

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




Trevor A. Dawes
Vice Provost, Libraries and Museums, University of Delaware
Former President, ACRL


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 library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive—and well-read?

In this foundational course from Library Journal and School Library Journal, designed specifically for librarian professionals who work in collections and readers’ advisory (RA), you’ll hear from an outstanding group of experts as they explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections. You’ll conduct a diversity audit of your collections and learn about how to include diverse books, wider perspectives, #ownvoices, and how to be more responsive to the community you serve.

The course will cover a wide range of topics, helping teach librarians how to evaluate books and media through an inclusive lens, that includes the experiences of LGBTQIA people, people of color, non-binary or gender non-conforming people, and ethnic, cultural, religious minorities, and more.

When you attend this interactive online course, 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.

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.

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

Group discounts are available!

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

Session 1 

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM ET | Welcome to the Course and Foundational Frameworks
Kiera Parrott, LJ/SLJ Reviews Director, will explain how the discussion groups and assignments will work and highlight key concepts, including #ownvoices, privilege, and intersectionality. 

Session 2

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM ET | Moving the Needle on Diversity in the Library
Given the state of libraries -- their demographics, budgets, challenges, and barriers -- what do librarians need to be doing now to lead from the front when it comes to equity initiatives? In this inspiring opening keynote, Trevor Dawes will share lessons learned from his years of work in the field, including what library professional need to be doing right now to create a more equitable outlook for our patrons and communities.
Trevor A. Dawes, Vice Provost, Libraries and Museums, University of Delaware, Former President, ACRL

Intermission | 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM ET

Session 3 

3:15 PM - 4:00 PM ET | Conducting a Diversity Audit of Your Collections
In this session, we’ll discuss both the process of conducting a diversity audit and what comes next after you’ve successfully audited your collection. You’ll learn how to plan 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. You’ll also come away with an understanding of what to do with your data once you have it, how to create a plan of implementation, and where to go next.
Karen Toonen, Collection Development Librarian, Naperville

Part 2: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Session 1

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM | From Stereotype to Authenticity: Representation in Children’s Collections
In this engaging session, you’ll learn how to dive deep into your current collection to spot problematic stereotypes and tropes -- both the easy to find and the more insidious ones -- and become a more critical reader. Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, co-creator of the widely popular “Diversity in Children’s Books” infographics and co-editor of “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature,” will discuss both the landscape of children’s literature today as well as how we can assess books of the past - including well-loved classics like Dr. Suess - and address how we can make our libraries more inclusive for all of our patrons.
Sarah Park Dahlen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Master of Library and Information Science Program, St. Catherine University (MN)

Intermission | 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM ET

Session 2

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM | Collection Management Strategies to Enact Change at Your Library
Being aware of a lack of diversity in your library collections and having the intention to make a change is important, but having a plan of action to address these problems is where the magic happens. In this session, you’ll learn concrete strategies for making lasting change in your approach to collection development and management, ensuring your library’s collections are inclusive. 
Beth Atwater, Collection Development Librarian, Johnson County Library, (KS)

Part 3 - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Session 1

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM ET | Collection Development and Readers’ Advisory for the Inclusive Librarian
Diversifying your collection begins with diversifying your suggestions. Learn from [Becky Spratford of RAforall.com] how to locate and combat implicit racism and sexism in our resources and provide a wider range of suggestions to our readers in this compelling session. Spratford will explain how encouraging readers to read more diversely results in libraries buying more diversely, and share ideas for how you can include your whole staff in the process. You’ll come away with an understanding for how equity work can become a part of your daily practice via interactions with your patrons, staff, and wider community.
Becky Spratford, Readers’ Advisory Specialist

Intermission | 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM ET

Session 2

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM ET | Dismantling Barriers and Rebuilding Collections
When we say our goal is to build diverse and inclusive library collections, what exactly does that mean? And equally important: why is this work so crucial? In this closing session, we’ll discuss how we got here: what library systems and practices are in place that enable homogeneity, as well as what wider systems of oppression are threaded through our culture that promote a dominant narrative. And of course: where we can -- and should -- go next.
Dr. Kimberly N. Parker, Teacher Developer

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Beth Atwater

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Sarah Park Dahlen

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Trevor Dawes

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Mahnaz Diaz

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Kim Parker

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Kiera Parrott

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Becky Stratford




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