Equity in Action: Fostering an Antiracist Library Culture

Course Overview

Library staff at all levels within their organizations have the power—and the responsibility—to help cultivate an antiracist culture, from evaluating spaces, programs, services, and collections to examining policies and practices to reflecting on one’s own implicit biases. Creating an internal culture founded on principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion is essential to building a community-centered library that meets the needs and expectations of its users.

In this course, you will learn about the concrete actions library leaders are taking to make their libraries antiracist 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.

Certificate of Completion Provided
15 PD credits available

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

  • The tools necessary 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



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


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 equity 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 three 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 six months after the course ends

In this course you will complete assignments to build your own equity-based initiative over three 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.

Live Interactive Sessions Tuesdays: Feb. 23, March 2, and March 9 from 2-4 PM ET. 

Live sessions bridged with online workshops, video lessons, assignments, discussions, and resources designed to help you build your own diversity initiative.

Also Available On-Demand! 

Can’t make a live session? All sessions will be available to you “on-demand” following the initial broadcast.

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 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.

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 23, 2021, 2-4 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:15 pm ET

Course Introduction 
A brief introduction to the course, which will highlight key concepts, including #ownvoices, privilege, and intersectionality, and explaining how the discussion groups and assignments will work.
To be announced soon


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

Making Implicit Biases Explicit
Serving diverse and marginalized populations is rewarding but complicated work. Among the barriers to inclusive service is implicit bias. It is important for information professionals to examine and acknowledge their own privileges and biases and recognize their role in creating and sustaining a welcoming environment in the library for every person who seeks access to the library’s materials, services, programs, and spaces. In this session, you'll unpack the concept of implicit bias, as well as the closely related concepts of stereotypes, microaggressions, and cultural competence, and walk away with ideas for how to use this deeper understanding to enhance your critical information practice.
To be announced soon


Intermission | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

Session 3 | 3:15-4:00 pm ET

Dismantling White Supremacy in the Library
In this session, participants will gain a deeper understanding of white supremacy and how it operates on institutional and individual levels. You will learn how to recognize and address explicit and implicit racist manifestations. Real-world examples will help contextualize the phenomena of white supremacy within public, school, and academic libraries. Most importantly, the session will move beyond understanding white supremacy, focusing on tangible steps toward dismantling racist systems of oppression. 
Cassie Sheets
, Adjunct Instructor, College of Humanities and Sciences, University of Montana (MT)

Part 2: Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 2-4 pm ET

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45

Cultivating Antiracist/Antibiased Workplaces and Hiring Practices
Creating an antiracist culture at your library must involve consideration of staff culture and hiring practices. In this session, you’ll learn how to develop and implement antiracist/antibiased recruitment and hiring practices (including antiracist interviewing and candidate selection), steps to take toward fostering inclusive workplaces, and how to conduct an organizational talent equity audit at your own library.
To be announced soon


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 conversation, you’ll hear from two experts on 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, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager, Denver Public Library (CO)
Becker Parkhurst-Strout, Adult Collection Development Librarian, Denver Public Library (CO)

Part 3 - Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 2-4 pm ET

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

Using Local History to Combat Racism
Learn how connecting to your community’s past can open up rich conversations about the future in this inspiring session. This session provides a deep dive into how librarians can use their institutions’ historical collections and resources to help patrons, students, and community members explore, critically analyze, and combat systemic racism.
Angel Jewel Tucker, Youth Services Manager, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS

Session 2 | 2:30-3:15 pm ET

Reassessing Our Core Values
What does true antiracist work look like within an organization and who measures its success? In this session, you’ll learn how to look more deeply into what your library is doing—and isn’t doing—with regards to equity work and reassess your priorities and areas of focus. You’ll learn to ask questions that go beneath the surface to the core values of your institution to reconsider your mission statement and your services, and begin to consider how you might create a revolutionary space of justice and healing through authentic human connection.
Andrea Blackman
, Division Manager, Special Collections & Director, Civil Rights Room, Nashville Public Library (TN)


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

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

Cassie Sheets, Adjunct Instructor, College of Humanities and Sciences, University of Montana (MT)

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

Angel Jewel Tucker, Youth Services Manager, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS







We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing