ILA DEI Initiatives

The ILA strategic plan, launched in 2019, identifies "A culture of diversity and inclusion in the profession" and "...in the association" as two top strategic priorities. On this page, we aim to index ILA efforts toward these goals, and progress on our commitments, highlighting some of the steps we’re taking towards making our association and profession more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Such efforts include:

  • Ongoing support of the Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholar program for ALA Spectrum Scholars in Illinois.
  • An active Diversity Committee.
  • The creation of an Executive Board DEI Subcommittee to guide the board and ensure accountability.
  • Provision of training for our elected leaders and staff, currently centered on the Courageous Conversation protocol.
  • Surveying Illinois libraries for educational needs and hosting the "ILA Voices" listening session at the ILA Annual Conference in October 2020; sharing out the results in an article in the March 2021 issue of the ILA Reporter authored by the Diversity Committee, "Reaching Underserved Communities through DEI Training"
  • The annual DiversiTEA event at Annual Conference, plus numerous keynote and other programs in the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion track.
  • Offering state or midwest chapters of ALA ethnic affiliates operating in Illinois complimentary exhibit space at the ILA Annual Conference.
  • Implementation of a Statement of Appropriate Conduct for ILA events designed to "provide a meeting environment in which diverse participants may learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect." This implementation includes an online, anonymous reporting tool that is unique among state and national library associations, and training for members and staff in receiving and adjudicating incident reports.
  • The 2018 Diversity Study Task Force report, which informed the development of the 2019-22 Strategic Plan and many of the specific initiatives we are working on. The report was published in the February 2018 issue of the ILA Reporter.
  • Creation of an ILA Small and Rural Libraries Forum, to foster inclusion in the association among library staff who may find it particularly onerous to travel for networking and professional development opportunities.

ILA aims to hold ourselves accountable for creating proactive change. This page is a work in process and resources will be added as they are developed.

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