Equity in Action: Building Diverse Collections

Course Overview:

For libraries to effectively meet their mission of serving the educational, informational, and entertainment needs of their communities, their collections must be diverse and inclusive, offering windows into and mirrors of the vast array of perspectives and stories that make up our world.

Library selectors and readers’ advisors must have a keen understanding of the basic frameworks for building and maintaining collections through an equitable lens, including the ability to recognize harmful stereotypes and apply that knowledge to a collection audit.

In this course, you’ll learn 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 how to include diverse books, wider perspectives, #ownvoices, and how to be both more responsive to the community you serve and more reflective of the diversity of our world. 

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, and ethnic, cultural, religious minorities, and more.

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.

In addition, you’ll have immediate access to our Diverse Collections Self-Guided Curriculum—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. Get access to the Self-Guided Curriculum today and join the live guest speaker sessions and workshop starting October 20.

Live Interactive Sessions: Tuesdays: October 20 & 27 and November 10 from 2-4 PM ET. Plus, self-guided options and additional bonus content offered so you can follow along at your own pace.

Certificate of Completion Provided
15 PD credits available


By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Live Sessions Bridged with Online Workshops, Video Lessons, Assignments, Discussions, and Resources designed to help you conduct your own diversity audit and transform your library. 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.

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 equity initiatives.

Certificate of Completion Provided

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.

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

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 equity audit of your collections. You’ll leave with well-developed strategies designed to make a lasting impact on your library and your community.

Discounted group rates are available 

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Please contact us at libraryjournal@edmaker.co to learn more about our discounted rates.

Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses, a curated list of resources from our editors, and other bonus materials!



Part 1: Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 2-4 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. 

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

Session 2 | 2:15-3:00 pm ET

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. 

Robin Bradford
, Collection Development Librarian, Pierce County Library System (WA)

Intermission | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

Session 3 | 3:15-4:00 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 Jensen
, MLS, Creator and Administrator, Teen Librarian Toolbox

Part 2: Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 2–4:15 pm ET

Stereotypes, Tropes, and Cultural Appropriation: A Collection Development Deep Dive
Some common stereotypes in books and media are easy to spot—others require a more fine-tuned understanding of culture and history. In this series of enlightening sessions, you will learn how to spot problematic stereotypes and tropes and how to avoid unintentionally perpetuating such depictions. You will hear from several experts in the field about the ways that specific marginalized cultures—Native American, Asian American, African American, and LGBTQIA+—are portrayed in mainstream media, their cultural traditions misunderstood or misrepresented, and their stories appropriated by cultural outsiders. You’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to build a more representative, inclusive collection at your library or institution.

Session 1 | 2:00-2:30

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

Session 2 | 2:30-3:00

Speaker: Ariana Hussain, Teacher Librarian, Co-Founder, Hijabi Librarians

Intermission | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

Session 3 | 3:15-3:45

To be announced soon

Session 4 | 3:45-4:15

Kara Stewart
, Author, Teacher, Literacy Specialist

Part 3: Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 2-4:15 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 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.blogspot.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 | 2:45-3:00 pm ET


Session 2 | 3:00-4:00 pm ET

Equity Work Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
In this closing conversation, you’ll hear from two experts how you can sustain equity, diversity, and inclusion work at your library and within your collections for the long haul. You’ll learn how to spot the problems and thoughtfully mobilize to enact solutions that prioritize libreratory, antiracist goals. You’ll come away with an understanding of how collection assessment and development fit into the larger picture of the library as an institution, and how you and your colleagues can ensure equity reaches both.

Ozy Aloziem, MSW
, Community Connections Program Coordinator, Denver Central Library (CO)
Becker Parkhurst-Strout, Adult Collection Development Librarian, Denver Public Library (CO)



Ozy Aloziem, MSW, Community Connections Program Coordinator, Denver Central Library (CO)

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

Robin Bradford, Collection Management Librarian, Pierce County Library System (WA)

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

Ariana Hussain, Teacher Librarian, Co-Founder, Hijabi Librarians

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

Becker Parkhurst-Strout, Adult Collection Development Librarian, Denver Public Library (CO)

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Becky Spratford, Readers' Advisory Specialist

Kara Stewart, Teacher, Literacy Specialist, Author












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