Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Last updated: October 16, 2020

Introduction to the Issue: 

Message from Deirdre Brennan, RAILS Executive Director

The Latest News

What RAILS Is Doing: 
  • The RAILS Board is forming an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee.
    The committee charge is to:

    • Develop a shared understanding of the nature of systemic racism and bias in libraries and library-related organizations and how to combat it
    • Advise the RAILS Board and staff about appropriate equity and accountability goals to which RAILS and libraries should aspire
    • Recommend ways to assess progress toward achieving those goals

      ​The committee will also help to: identify barriers in libraries and the library field and solutions to eliminate them; develop ideas and programs to increase awareness about systemic racism and bias among member libraries, staff and boards; and facilitate systemwide discussion about EDI.
  • Sparks Podcast Episode 28: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • RAILS EDI Mailing List
    All RAILS member library staff members interested in sharing ideas and best practices related to EDI are invited to subscribe to our EDI mailing list by visiting the Email Lists page in the Members section of the RAILS website and clicking on the Subscribe link for this mailing list.
  • Internal RAILS Staff EDI Initiative
    RAILS is beginning to work with a consultant on an internal staff EDI initiative. We need to examine and make the necessary changes to our own culture so we can authentically work with others on equity, diversity and inclusion. We will share our experiences as they develop via this pulse page.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team in Youth Services (EDITY-YS)
    Library staff interested in meeting with like-minded youth services library staff to discuss diversity of all kinds are invited to join this networking group.



  • Celebration of You and Me: a collection of always available picture books about equity, diversity, and inclusion in the BiblioBoard Library.
  • Lawrence Hill Books: quality nonfiction on progressive politics, civil and human rights, feminism, and topics of interest to African Americans and other underrepresented groups.

​​eRead Illinois Axis 360:

  • eRead Illinois Axis 360 includes a curated list of racial justice titles with numerous anti-racism bestsellers. eRead Illinois Axis 360 members can access all of the titles in the bestsellers list. The list can also be added to an eRead library's Axis 360 site. See instructions.
Library Examples: 

Survey/Member Feedback

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Activities Survey
    Please submit information about your library's EDI activities.
    See survey results here.

Other Resources: 

    American Library Association Resources

    Illinois Library Association Resources

    LibGuides and other Academic Library Resources

    General Resources

    • Combating Racism in Libraries: Creating Spaces to Educate and Inform Our Communities, New York Library Association webinar series
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Toolkit from the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
    • Race Forward – Race Forward works with communities, organizations, and sectors to build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.
    • South Carolina State Library Collection Development Resources