ILA and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Illinois Library Association Statement of Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

The ILA Executive Board approved the following statement and set of definitions on May 20, 2021. 

Purposes of this Document 

  • To serve as a foundational document that will guide ILA activities and policies, including, but not limited to, the association’s nominations, awards, and committee appointments. 

  • To demonstrate a public commitment to principles that the association can refer to when called to address future current events and as the environment continually evolves. 

  • To establish a common vocabulary as an association and identify the populations within Illinois librarianship we intend to serve via our DEI-related activities.


The Illinois Library Association affirms our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all library workers and our association, as stated in our strategic plan. We seek to improve both the association and the profession in order to attract and retain a library workforce that reflects the diversities of the communities we serve and to enable library staff to increase their own and their patrons’ awareness and understanding. 

We acknowledge such improvement requires intentional change at both the individual and institutional levels. These efforts are two-fold:

  1. Directly support our colleagues from underrepresented populations. We seek to make the library field more accessible to all by creating a culture of inclusion.

  2. Advance the understanding of and support for greater inclusion by ILA leadership and library workers as a whole. 

Our goal is to nurture an environment that allows all library workers to fully contribute and thrive. We recognize barriers to such an environment are broad, intersectional, and societal. Librarianship is ILA’s sphere of influence and we seek to direct our efforts here first.


  • Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital and/or familial status, mental and/or physical impairment and/or disability, military status, economic status, political affiliation, and other human distinguishing characteristics. [Source: ILA Diversity Committee]

  • Equity recognizes that some groups are disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are underrepresented or marginalized in librarianship. The effects of that exclusion often linger systemically within organizational policies, practices and procedures. [Adapted from ALA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Report, 2015]

  • Inclusion means intentionally seeking and fostering participation and engagement in librarianship and ILA from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized populations as defined above. In addition, the Illinois library community’s diverse constituencies include geographic location, type of library worker, and library type and size.

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