Racial Equity and Social Justice Resources

Because Libraries Inspire Understanding and Community Healing graphicCommit to ongoing learning, action, and engagement.

Racial justice is not achieved by a workshop, a book, or good intentions, but with ongoing commitments and actions. Ohio’s public libraries provide equitable access to information for all people, regardless of race. The OLC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee recommends ways in which the OLC can address diversity as it relates to the library profession and to the Ohio library community. Aspects of diversity include but are not limited to age, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity and race. A commitment to racial justice improves our ability to uphold the values of diversity and inclusion in our libraries.

Resources to help libraries respond to social justice issues:


Reading Lists

Books can’t do the work for us, but can serve as a catalyst for self-reflection and group discussion.


PBS News Hour: How to Address the Surge in Asian American Hate Crimes
PBS News Hour (3/4/21)

How Parents Can Support Kids Through (and beyond) the Latest Wave of Anti-Asian American Violence
CNN (3/18/21)

Anti-Asian Attacks Rise During Pandemic: Stories On The Surge In Violence
NPR (3/17/21)

‘I Will Not Stand Silent’: 10 Asian Americans Reflect on Racism During the Pandemic and the Need for Equality
Time (6/25/20)

Reflections on Race and Racism
American Libraries (6/5/20)

Top Five Antiracist Titles
Library Journal (6/5/20)

How Eliminating Library Fees Advances Racial Equity
Urban Libraries Council (4/24/20)

EDISJ Matters Column – The Movement Toward Equity
Public Libraries Magazine (Jan/Feb 2020 Issue)

This List of Books, Films and Podcasts About Racism Is a Start Not a Panacea
NPR (6/6/20)

Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries Case Studies from the Field
Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE)



Change the Subject
Documents efforts of students and librarians who work from campus to Congress to change subject heading/classification terms related to immigration in the Library of Congress.

Race in America:  Joy Harjo & Tracy K. Smith (conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden)

Asian Americans
(PBS series)

Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) presented “Justice and Equity in a Time of National Crisis

Columbus Business First presented “Racism in Columbus

Multnomah County (Oregon) Library: Creating conditions for equity to flourish

Black America Since MLK and I Still Rise
(PBS series)


Violence Against Asian Americans: How Do We Support the Children?
(originally presented by embracerace.org 3/24/21)

Color-Brave: An Early Childhood Learning Community for Adults Caretakers
4/27/21 @ 8:30 p.m.

Addressing Race in Public Libraries
(originally presented by OLC 11/19/20)
This workshop continues the conversation on race in Ohio’s public libraries with training on implicit bias, microaggressions in the workplace and being an active bystander.

Advancing Racial Equity within Public Libraries: A Conversation with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
(originally presented by OLC 8/6/20)
An introduction to the concepts of power, identity, and oppression, and how they impact library staff, services, programs, collections, and spaces.

Receptive to Race: Normalizing the Discussion of Race with Children in Libraries
(originally presented 8/27/20)
Provides practical tools for discussing race with young children and their caregivers.

Racial Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace
(presented live 7/8-10/20 – all sessions recorded)
Online symposium from the Denver Public Library (DPL). The Cleveland Public Library partnered with DPL on an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant to create this training. It is free and available to Ohio’s public libraries.

Reading and Talking About Race
An Intro to ALA’s Great Stories Club (Part 1: Deeper Than Our Skins)
(originally presented 6/30/20)

Advancing Racial Equity in Your Library
(originally presented 10/10/18)

Understanding Power, Identity, and Oppression in the Public Library
(originally presented 12/5/17)

For Youth

8 Steps to Creating a Diverse Book Collection

Students Describe Their Experiences with Asian-American Discrimination and Violence

ALSC AAPI Book Recommendations

How Children’s Librarians Can Impact Diversity

Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

Creating Diverse Collections

Can Diverse Books Save Us?

Resources about Asian-American Children & Families

Selection is Privilege

Censorship by Omission