American Library Association launches EDI Speakers Bureau

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/08/2019


Amber Hayes

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services


Chicago – The Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) has launched the EDI Speakers Bureau. This online resource highlights experts from the library profession who are available to speak on topics surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).

In 2014, then ALA-President Barbara Stripling formed the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The mission of the Task Force was to “develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity, and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship, and our communities.” (Final Report of the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, June 2016). One of the 58 recommendations of the task force was to create a clearinghouse (speakers bureau) of people with expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion to aid program planners in identifying speakers.

The 2017 Class of Emerging Leaders was tasked with establishing this database of individuals who can who can speak on equity, diversity, and inclusion, and they laid the groundwork for maintenance and sustainability of the database by the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS). While the database is managed by ODLOS, these speakers are not vetted by the American Library Association, nor do they speak on the behalf of the American Library Association.

The EDI Speakers Bureau includes speakers’ location, biography, and areas of expertise. Users may nominate a speaker to be added to the EDI Speakers Bureau and content experts may submit themselves to be listed on the website.



The Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) – The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services supports library and information science workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. To accomplish this, we decenter power and privilege by facilitating conversations around access and identity as they impact the profession and those we serve. We use a social justice framework to inform library and information science workers' development of resources. We strive to create an association culture where these concerns are incorporated into everybody's everyday work.