Building More Inclusive Communities With the Help of Public Libraries


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Read a full transcript here.

Sarah Voels Bio:

Sarah Voels is the Community Engagement Librarian at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Previously she worked as a materials librarian and was responsible for the youth and young adult collections. For the past three years she has conducted focused research on diversity audits in libraries and has had the opportunity to present at conferences for the Iowa Library Association, Public Library Association, and the State Library of North Carolina. Her work has resulted in the forthcoming title from ABC-CLIO Libraries Unlimited, Auditing Diversity in Library Collections, expected in early 2022.

Karin Michel Bio

Karin Michel has been working at Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) for over 20 years. In that time, she’s managed collections, programs and staff in the Youth & Family Experiences division. CHPL is a busy, mid-sized municipal library in a college town full of voracious readers from many cultures and countries. Since 2019, we’ve been engaged in assessing and addressing collection gaps to focus on communities and languages of Chapel Hill, with an end goal of being responsive to and reflective of the communities we serve. Karin drinks too much coffee and works a lot, but also finds time to read, co-parent three tweenage kids, and go on the occasional trail run.

Additional Resources:

Want to learn more about Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop and her thoughts about how books can be Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors? Find a text to her article here and a link to a related video.

Sarah mentioned research that she found as she began her work.

Here's a link to the article from Jenni Frencham.

Also, here's the article by Karen Jensen.

Karin Michel spoke about the program that their primary vendor offers. Here's some additional information about the program offered by Ingram Spark to assist libraries with their audits.

Some further reading about the importance of funding our aging library systems.

This article also talks about how libraries have a role to play in Climate Justice.

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