Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Creating a New Future for Library Collections

ALCTS 2017 Midwinter Symposium

Friday, January 20, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  |  event code: ALC1  |   Register  | Add to Scheduler

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are ideals librarians espouse. Whether in acquisitions, access, management or preservation, library collections are evolving to support these ideals. Furthering discussions on metadata, open access, and preserving diverse voices in collections are critical as libraries face challenges in a changing society. This symposium explores work underway and what the future brings. Join your colleagues for these important conversations about the intersection of collections and equity, diversity and inclusion. Librarians in academic, public, and special libraries will benefit from attending this symposium.  


  • Address need for action relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion in libraries
  • Communicate current progress 
  • Advance future initiatives
  • Engage audience in discussion of concepts relating to their own situation
  • Provide thought provoking presentations
  • Give audience real-life takeaways

Confirmed Topics and Speakers  


8:45-9:30 am

Courtney YoungKeynote Speaker

Taking root: Growing the seeds of equity, diversity, and inclusion through library collections and technical services

Courtney Young served as the President of the American Library Association for 2014–2015 and ended her term as Past President in June 2016. During her presidency, Courtney focused on diversity, career development, and community engagement and outreach. Courtney’s advocacy for diversity in libraries has been an integral part of her professional career.

Courtney currently serves as the Head Librarian and Professor of Women's Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Greater Allegheny campus. Among her many roles at PSU, she has served as an academic advisor to Penn State students, coordinated an honors program, worked to improve university-wide virtual reference services, and evaluated and tracked diversity of the library’s acquisitions. Courtney has previously worked at other campuses of Penn State, as well as at Michigan State University and The Ohio State University. In 2011, Courtney was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker – Change Agent. She was honored for her work to highlight issues of diversity in libraries and academia. Courtney received a B.A. in English from The College of Wooster (1996) and an M.L.S. from Simmons College (1997).

Equitable Access to Collections

9:30-10:15 am

Hannah BucklandHannah Buckland is the Director of Library Services at Leech Lake Tribal College in northern Minnesota. In this role, she manages all aspects of a small joint-use academic/community library. She also serves as a member of the Minnesota Governor's Task Force on Broadband and the Leech Lake Native Community Development Institute team.

Presentation Slides



Scholarly Communication and Diversity

10:30-11:15 am

Charlotte RohCharlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of San Francisco where she engages in outreach and education around issues of open access, copyright and author rights, library publishing, institutional repositories, and data. Her personal and professional interests are the integration of scholarly communication and social justice in order to effect change in librarianship and publishing. 



Harrison InefukuHarrison Inefuku is the Co-Lead of Digital Scholarship and Initiatives Department and Scholarly Publishing Services Librarian at Iowa State University, where he oversees the university’s institutional repository and leads library publishing efforts. Harrison’s research and professional interests are in diversity and social justice in the information professions, and the intersection of archival management and institutional repositories.

Presentation Slides


Diversity and Visibility in Collection Development and Management

11:15-12:00 pm

Paolo P. GuijildePaolo P. Gujilde is Coordinator of Collection Development and Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia, where he is responsible for selection, acquisition, and management of the general library collections. He is heavily involved in library organizations such as the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and the Georgia Library Association (GLA). He received his B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and his M.S. in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. His research interests include usage trends in print and electronic resources and diversity in academic libraries especially in collection development and librarian preparedness and training on issues of diversity. 

Abstract: Diversity and inclusion can be argued to be challenges facing libraries today and in the future. The changing demographics of the United States of America are shaping the needs of libraries. This is especially significant in collection development and management in which there is a lack of representation of library users in resources and materials. At this time, diversity and inclusion within the context of libraries are still much more of a concept rather than a reality. Though, libraries and librarians are slowly shifting that concept into applications with library diversity initiatives and to some extent, actively building diverse and inclusive library collections.
Traditionally, collection development and management focus heavily on the mission of the institution and the library. They take into account organizational responsibilities such as budget, content, and access. In addition, collection development and in a larger scope, collection management, incorporate various dynamics that comprise resources and services of an institution. These can be found in the systematic process of collection management from selection criteria to decisions based on assessment. However, the same factors coupled with changing demographics are pushing collection development and management into a new institutional responsibility that should be an asset—diversity and inclusion.
So, how do we make library collections diverse and inclusive? Why do we want diversity and inclusion in the first place? What are our responsibilities in collection development and management?

Presentation Slides

The Power of the Catalog: Inclusion and Advocacy in Cataloging and Description/Knowledge Organization

1:15-2:00 pm

Emily Drabinski

Emily Drabinski is Coordinator of Library Instruction at Long Island University, Brooklyn. She sits on the board of Radical Teacher, a journal of socialist, feminist, and anti-racist teaching practice, and edits Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies, a book series from Library Juice Press/Litwin Books. Drabinski serves as secretary of the Long Island University Faculty Federation.
Abstract: The knowledge organization structures we use in libraries enable inquiry and curiosity in the library, turning piles of books into ordered and accessible collections. At the same time, these structures use language and logic that many of us might contest. Subject terms and classification schedules emerge from dominant ideologies, often reflecting biases of various kinds. Students researching gender and sexual identities in our library catalogs, for example, confront a controlled vocabulary that fails to reflect the names they might use for themselves, and persists in classifying them as deviant. These are pivotal moments, where students intersect with structures of power. 
Technical services librarians who understand the way power flows through these systems are positioned to change them, and public service librarians are positioned to teach them differently. Articulating cataloging and classification structures as systems that produce and circulate power can help librarians work toward a more equitable world.

Diversity and Inclusion in Preservation | View the trailer

2:00-2:45 pm

Ann Marie WillerAnn Marie Willer is the Preservation Librarian for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she is responsible for maintaining the MIT Libraries’ circulating collection, coordinating disaster response, and contributing to lifecycle management of the Libraries’ tangible collections. She is past chair of the Libraries’ Committee for the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion and the Collections Directorate Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Task Force. Within ALA she previously served as chair of the Preservation & Reformatting Section and as a member of the Council Committee on Diversity. Ann Marie holds a B.A. in Music (Southern Methodist University), an M.A. in Musicology (Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester), an M.S. in Library Science (University of North Texas), and a Graduate Certificate in Preservation Management (Rutgers).

Miriam Centero

Miriam Centeno is the Collections Care Coordinator at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, where she oversees workflows in support of the University Library’s paper-based collections, manages environmental monitoring, integrated pest management and stack maintenance issues related to preservation. She has an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. Previously she worked in the Collections Care Section of the Library of Congress and in the Department of Conservation & Preservation at Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries. Miriam has served as chair & co-chair of ALA’s Preservation Week (2012-2014) and is now serving as the Preservation in Action Local Arrangements Coordinator of the PARS Preservation Outreach Committee.

Miriam started the Mushiboshi Project, an initiative that looks for ethnographic preservation practices around the world. The project’s goal is to find common sense cultural and religious practices that can foster inherent preservation of material culture through the ages, and how libraries can apply these low tech options to their own stewardship and promote their use to the general public.
Abstract: Who tells your story? The fact that cultural materials survive the passage of time is the result of a long chain of choices about care or neglect—sometimes purposeful, but many times happenstance. Who makes the decisions of what, how, and when history is preserved? The answer determines the narrative that will be told to future generations.
In the fields of preservation and conservation, we ask ourselves: How inclusive are we in our own profession? As stewards of cultural heritage, are we focusing on only a part of a larger collective memory? In the U.S., is our “Western lens” keeping us from seeing clearly the diversity of our materials and from being flexible in our treatment approaches? How can we honor the historical and indigenous conservation efforts that have preserved artifacts thus far? And who gets to be part of the club dedicated to saving the patrimony? What are we doing to welcome a more diverse workforce into our field? Can we empower communities to preserve their own heritage so that majority voices do not make assumptions about what is important?
In our presentation, we will explore the various efforts underway in the preservation and conservation fields to expand the diversity of staffing, education, and training in the stewardship of cultural heritage. We will also discuss how we create inclusive outreach and participation in this stewardship, and develop culturally sensitive and equitable treatments for cultural heritage materials.


3:00-3:45 pm

Mark PuenteClosing Speaker

Mark Puente is the Director of Diversity and Leadership programs for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in Washington, DC. He has served in this role since March of 2009. Puente manages all aspects of ARL's diversity and inclusion programs as well as several leadership development offerings. He is the ARL staff liaison to the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, leads assessment efforts across his portfolio, and designs and directs the annual ARL Leadership Symposium. A frequent speaker, clinician, and facilitator, Puente also contributed to the planning of the National Diversity in Libraries Conference (NDCL '16) held in August. He is the principle investigator of the ARL/Society of American Archivists' (SAA) Mosaic Program, an initiative that seeks to recruit individuals from historically underrepresented groups into the archival profession. Puente is a graduate of the Knowledge River Program at the iSchool at the University of Arizona, and was a 2003 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar. Prior to working for ARL, Puente worked in a variety of music library settings including at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of North Texas. He is a native of San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract: Across the US and Canada, library, archive, and museum associations have engaged in critical conversations and programmed quite heavily on topics related to the state of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice efforts in cultural heritage and information professional communities. Over the last several decades there have been numerous efforts by organizations to address issues such as low representation of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the workforce, the low representation of marginalized voices in the literary and scientific canon, and persisting challenges with access to both physical and electronic collections, exhibitions, and resources. And yet, these sectors struggle with how to effect meaningful and enduring change. Touching on concepts such as intersectionality, crip theory, and symbolic annihilation, Puente will make the case for a deeper interrogation of systems that sustain inequality for the communities we serve, and for deliberate and deep collaboration to maximize the impact of our collective efforts.


Register online through the ALA 2017 Midwinter Meeting registration site. Add this symposium to your conference registration or register for this symposium alone.

The price of this full-day symposium is:

ALCTS Member: $219
ALA Member: $269
Non-Member: $319
ALA Student Member/Retired Member: $99
Registration Event Code: ALC1
Location: Knowles Conference Center, College of Law, Georgia State University, 85 Park Place, Atlanta, GA 30303

Visit the ALA Midwinter Meeting web site for more details on ALA Midwinter 2017.

For more information or help with registration, please contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Continuing Education and Program Manager at jreese@ala.org.

This Midwinter Symposium is generously sponsored by