I'm interested in Equitable Access and Outreach

Through services, collections, and spaces, library professionals promote equitable access for all people. Learn how library professionals are embracing the diversity of our users at these sessions. 

Interested in other topics? Check out the conference scheduler and use the drop down "Subject" search field or visit the interests pages to see other topics. 


Zine Cultures as Critical Resistance: A Hands-On Workshop to Build Community Engagement and Student Learning
Saturday 9:00 – 10:00AM
A panel of zinesters, zine librarians and cultural scholars will convene a conversation addressing critical practices of literary and artistic resistance within zine cultures. Zines as a medium and platform are texts of subculture that resist dominant social hierarchies in favor of self-made and independently circulated ideas, distributed among community-based networks, and published outside of traditional publishing structures in many different parts of the world.

Nothing About Us Without Us! Engaging the Community in Creating Disability Friendly Libraries
Saturday 9:00 – 10:00AM
Interested in making your library more inclusive? Consult the experts – people with disabilities! This panel of librarians, with and without disabilities, can help you identify the self-advocates in your community, create linkages with self-advocacy agencies and develop a plan to include people with disabilities in the planning of your library’s services.

Stronger Together: Public-Private Partnerships for Digital Literacy
Saturday 10:30 - 11:30AM
Bringing millions of people online to fully participate in today’s digital world is a big job, and libraries have long been leaders. PLA and Cox Communications teamed up with three local libraries in 2017 to help answer this question, with a commitment to collecting and sharing key learnings from the public-private partnership. Together, these partners developed and offered digital literacy training - online and in person - to their communities, and implemented unique format, marketing, and evaluation strategies that every library can learn from. 

UX-Accessibility: Integrating Accessibility into Your Library's User Experience Planning
Saturday 10:30 - 11:30AM
Our panel of academic and public librarians will discuss how by building on an "accessibility for all" philosophy we can ensure that the needs of users with varying levels of ability are considered as an integral part of the library's overall user experience design approach. 

The Power of Book Reviews & Diverse Authorship
Saturday 1:00 - 2:00PM
Book review publications are an integral component of how readers make book choices. Book reviews often drive how books are chosen within public libraries, school and university libraries, in addition to bookstores and mainstream media. Currently, there are no book review publications solely dedicated to diverse authorship. The editors of the forthcoming 2040 Review will present the issues related to the exclusion of authors of color from book review markets and share solutions on how inclusiveness can bridge the gap.

Compassionate service: promoting dignity for marginalized patrons through a holistic approach
Saturday 1:00 - 2:00PM
In the last few years many public libraries have hired social workers to address the needs of customers experiencing life challenges. In this session, library administrators and social work teams from the Denver and San Francisco public libraries will discuss best practices, challenges, and results their libraries have seen by integrating a holistic social service program into their library's service plan.

Using Innovative, Music-Based Outreach Programs to Reach Vulnerable Populations of All Ages
Saturday 1:00 - 2:00PM
Research shows that music positively affects people. Nursery rhyme recitation boosts children’s vocabulary and language skills, important factors in preparing them for success in school and reducing rates of adult incarceration. Singing together creates community among people of all abilities; outreach to people with disabilities is facilitated by music. And, songs from earlier years are often easier for older adults with memory loss to retain; the ability to sing rhymes together lasts long after other ways of communicating have been lost. Music-based outreach programming can benefit everyone. 

Foster Care, Adoption, and the Librarian Parent
Saturday 2:30 - 3:30PM
This panel of librarians from across the field will discuss their experiences as Foster/Adoptive parents. They will discuss not only their information needs through the process and after but also how that experience changed their work and how they approach not just these questions but larger issues of race, social responsibility, identity, and community support. 

LGB and Especially T - Serving Queer Teens
Saturday 4:00 - 5:00PM
Create a welcoming and inclusive space for queer teens, including programming and literature recommendations. Session will include vocabulary and terminology, how and why to build a case for serving this under-served community using statistics and health outcomes, and a broad range of methods for being inclusive from stealthy to bold. Whether your community is big or small, conservative or liberal, rural or urban, LGBTQ teens exist everywhere and deserve excellent library service.

New Dawn for Libraries: A Conversation with Carla Hayden
Saturday 4:00 - 5:30PM
Dr. Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African-American Librarian of Congress, is an avid proponent of proactive public services that support discovery and enrich communities. In her new role, she seeks to make the Library’s collections and stories come alive for all Americans regardless of their proximity to the nation’s capital. Former ALA President Courtney Young will engage Dr. Hayden in a wide-ranging conversation about forging roles for library services in meeting the needs of today’s varied and diverse populations. 


The Rising Tide: How Libraries Sustain a Planet in Crisis
Sunday 8:30 - 10:00AM
In this panel/program we seek to convey the inextricable connection between social justice and climate change. Specifically, how climate change disproportionately affects poorer communities and communities of color, and how libraries and librarians can (and do) play a pivotal role in helping vulnerable communities build the physical, social, economic, and emotional resources and skills necessary to endure and thrive in the face of such catastrophic climate, social, and economic disruptions. 

Breaking down barriers: Serving the first-generation student in today’s academic library
Sunday 9:00 – 10:00AM
As colleges, universities, and academic libraries work to adapt their student recruitment, retention, and support services to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population, one group of students merits special attention: first-generation college students. This program will present the results of research into the challenges first-generation students face in effectively using academic libraries as well as an initial set of best practices for supporting these students’ academic success that can be adopted by libraries in a variety of institutional environments. 

Diverse Users, Diverse Collections: Global Popular Culture Made Local
Sunday 9:00 - 10:00AM
In this session area specialist librarians will explore the opportunities and challenges in developing international popular culture collections. From Bollywood, to Indian comics, to Korean popular culture, we will explore why it’s important to include materials from the Global South in popular culture collections. Finally, we will discuss how librarians without subject or area expertise can build such collections.

Impact of Embedded Digital Inclusion Champions
Sunday 9:00 - 10:00AM
Across the country, libraries are beginning to designate dedicated Digital Inclusion champions to help further the digital inclusion (home broadband, public broadband, local tech support, devices and digital literacy) mission in their space and in the community they serve. Many begin with assistance through fellowships or through larger initiatives, and more and more are becoming permanent. This session will showcase professionals from several different programs and libraries whose positions are dedicated to digital inclusion. 

Make Your Library Dementia Friendly
Sunday 9:00 - 10:00AM
The Baby Boomer generation is aging and increasing numbers of Americans are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.Now is the time for libraries to develop person-centered programing aimed at enriching the quality of life for this population. Studies increasingly demonstrate that the effects of dementia can be mitigated with regular, personal engagement. This program will highlight a number of concrete initiatives for programming and services that serve as successful models across diverse communities nationwide. 

Conversation as a Model of Engagement With Library Users Experiencing Homelessness
Sunday 10:30 - 11:30AM
How does working with people experiencing homelessness to identify their needs, instead of offering the programming library staff believe is needed and/or wanted, change library programming? Will structured, but informal conversations help staff engage with patrons, regardless of housing status? 

Supporting College Students on the Autism Spectrum: Evidence Based Strategies for Academic Librarians
Sunday 10:30 - 11:30AM
Young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are attending postsecondary institutions more than ever before, and it is highly likely that most academic librarians are already working with this population – whether they realize it or not. At Florida State University, a team of researchers are working with academic librarians to provide intensive coaching to better support students on the spectrum in the campus libraries. In this session, both researchers and librarians will share key project takeaways and actively engage participants in discussion about best practices for working with this population. 

Bookmobile and Outreach Information Repository
Sunday 10:30 - 11:30AM
The Association for Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) is developing the "Bookmobile and Outreach Information Repository". The aim of this project is to archive, unify, and further bookmobile and library outreach services worldwide with a multipurpose database tool. Libraries worldwide have been providing bookmobile and outreach services to their communities for hundreds of years and continue to be a critical link connecting under-served populations to books, computers, another other resources that promote early childhood literacy, lifelong learning, and community enrichment.

Cultural Competence & Collaborative Conversations: A Path to Providing Equitable Services for Multicultural Patrons
Sunday 1:00 - 2:00PM
In 2016, Arapahoe Libraries introduced two Intercultural Librarian positions. Tasked with supporting and improving the district's services to underserved populations, we took a new approach to developing the district's internal staff training around services to multicultural patrons that was grounded in the concepts of cultural competence and intersectionality. Our goal is to share with you our findings on how these conversations with staff are helping our library district position itself to better serve this group of patrons. 

Intercultural Competence in Knowledge Representation
Sunday 1:00 - 2:00PM
Knowledge organization systems (KOS), including vocabularies and classification systems, represent our world of knowledge and information resources. Inclusion or exclusion of topics, terms, and the choice of “authorized” terms all affect resource representation and access. This presentation will discuss preliminary findings from a recent study on the intercultural awareness and competence of professionals who develop, maintain, or apply KOS.

American Dream Literacy Initiative: 10 Years Serving Adult English Language Learners
Sunday 1:00 - 2:00PM
Since its inception in 2007, the American Dream Literacy Initiative (http://www.ala.org/advocacy/literacy/americandream) has supported public libraries throughout the United States in initiating or expanding literacy services for adult English language learners. Administered by the American Library Association and funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the program has provided a total of 214 grants to 188 libraries, across six cohorts. The grants allow libraries to augment their print and digital English as a Second Language collections; increase computer access and training; provide job training; hold English Language Learning, General Educational Development, and citizenship classes; and raise the visibility of services for immigrant populations. This session will share findings and recommendations from a multi-year evaluation study, as well as highlight individual grantee libraries’ successes and stories from the field.

Trans* Customer Service 101
Sunday 2:30 – 3:30PM
Hear from library workers on the front lines about how to serve better your trans users. We will discuss the importance of Safe Zone training, adding pronouns to name tags and verbal introductions, preferred names in the ILS, gender neutral restrooms, gender neutral or trans-friendly signage, as well as other staff policies and workplace culture issues of interest to those looking to improve their services to trans, as well as other queer or gender nonconforming people.

Supporting Diversity Through Social Media and What To Do When This is Challenged
Sunday 2:30 - 3:30PM
Knowing our communities, celebrating differences and speaking up about those differences when necessary are part of being a public entity and serving ALL. We believe that in libraries, ALL ARE WELCOME. Social media is the perfect way to champion our patrons whether they are homeless, handicapped, LGBTQ, a member of minority populations, immigrants and others. The goal is to be culturally sensitive and to educate those who may not be open-minded on social media channels when these topics come up. Ready to get a little uncomfortable in order to serve your communities best? 

Brilliance, Magic and Black Girls
Sunday 2:30- 3:30PM
While all Americans need and deserve to be surrounded with opportunities that prepare them to be successful, it is Black girls whose opportunities are most threatened. As literacy leaders, we need to understand the inequities that currently exist in our society and create strategies to interrupt them. Librarians and authors will discuss what it means to be a young black girl in America, the unseen brilliance that is buried in deficit narratives and the role we each play in empowering these girls to develop and exceed their own high expectations.


Seeing the whole community: how to understand and include people with print disabilities ages 0-100 in your quest to spread literacy, reading, and information access
Monday 10:30 - 11:30AM
As important as reading is to everyone, information and literacy can be a world-changer for your patrons with print disabilities (visual disability, physical disability, or reading disability - including some autism spectrum and developmental disabilities, patrons with Parkinson's, CP, MS, stroke survivors, people with Alzheimers, dyslexia, and more ). Learn what challenges in literacy, technology training, and information access face these communities, gain greater understanding of the different ways people with print disabilities might consume information, the many resources available to you, and how you can serve with confidence. 

MākMō: the LA County Library MakerMobiles
Monday 10:30 – 11:30AM
Want to offer STEAM programming at your libraries but don’t have enough room to create a makerspace? Thinking about ways your library can emerge into a new world of mobile services? Learn about LA County Library’s new MākMō makerspace vehicles, which offer STEM programing to all 87 LA County public libraries and the communities they serve.

Funders’ perspectives on supporting veterans, military families, and caregivers: navigating the landscape of library opportunities
Monday 2:30 - 3:30PM
There are approximately 22 million veterans living in the US today, and the population is changing rapidly. As a new generation of veterans transitions from military life and copes with the impact of long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the needs of the population are also shifting. IMLS’s Community Salute initiative explores examples, tools, and resources around how libraries and museums can develop new or enhanced strategies for veterans and their families. 

Early Literacy Outreach to Underserved and Unserved Families
Monday 2:30 - 3:30PM
Early literacy outreach to underserved and unserved families has been growing. Research suggests that interactive experiences with early literacy improves young children’s lives, and providing equitable access to library services is one of the ALA’s key action areas. Going beyond traditional in-library programs, innovative early literacy resources are currently being delivered in food pantries, WIC Centers, NICU units, laundromats, and apartment complexes. Discover the steps taken to set-up these programs and hear about the impact they have had on vulnerable communities.

CORRECTIONAL LIBRARIES, COLLECTION BUILDING  AND COLLABORATIONS: success stories from those serving in an information desert
Monday 2:30 - 3:30PM
Our team of three library professionals will present strategies for best providing credible information to inmates in jail and prison settings. Specifically, collection development, budgeting and community partnerships will be discussed. Two library professionals from the United States and one from Canada will share their collaboration efforts, programming ideas, reentry strategies and collection development policies.

The Inclusive Makerspace: #WeNeedDiverseMakerspaces
Monday 2:30 - 3:30PM
Participants will acquire practical advice on creating a hands-on learning area with activities for students of all grade levels and abilities, including English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities. These activities go across all areas of the curriculum, can be self-directed and promote an environment of collaboration and communication. Examples will be given of makerspace activities that promote confidence in special population students, something they often lack in other classes.

GLBTRT Chair's Program: Intersectionality and the Library of the Future
Monday 2:30 - 4:30PM
An interactive panel presentation about intersectionality and how it affects the future of libraries, including staff development and recruitment/retention, community participation, and the ever-strengthening roles our profession has in transforming our libraries and communities into spaces that meet the diverse needs of all people in a complex, dynamic and even dangerous political environment.

A Library for Everyone: Community Centered Design to Promote Inclusive Librarianship
Monday 4:00 - 5:00PM
Research has shown that libraries are valuable informal learning spaces, rich with opportunities to gain knowledge and make meaning in our complex society. However, libraries are not always able to effectively connect with their diverse communities. Design, a theoretical and practical way to provide solutions to problems in today’s society, offers librarians a set of tools, techniques, and theories that harness the role of making in knowledge creation. In this interactive, hands-on speed design session we present 3 quick, easy-to-learn community-centered design techniques to help library staff create more inclusive tools and services for their communities.