Districts, Schools and Educators

All Are Welcome: The Role of Libraries in Advancing Racial Equity

Minnesota’s cities and towns are rapidly diversifying. Libraries, like other government institutions, are expected to respond to diverse community needs. By assessing and adapting library services with an equity lens, libraries can provide responsive, quality library services to all Minnesotans.

State Library Services is hosting All Are Welcome: The Role of Libraries in Advancing Racial Equity for library leaders and front-line staff. This free workshop provides an introduction to the role, responsibilities and opportunities for libraries to advance racial equity. Participants will learn about the historical and present-day causes of racial inequities and participate in facilitated discussions and interactive exercises focused on normalizing racial equity as a core value.

Participants will learn key terminology; how to operationalize racial equity; and how to organize internally and in partnership with community organizations. They will become familiar with a framework for institutional change and library practices used by libraries in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity’s Library Interest Group. This workshop also introduces a racial equity tool that can be used in decisions relating to policies, practices, programs, budget, and communication strategies. Participants gain skill at identifying and addressing institutional and structural racism, and building capacity to advance racial equity in their workplace.

Workshop objectives

  • Gain understanding of the government’s role in contributing to racial inequity and our responsibility to advance racial equity;
  • Develop a shared racial equity analysis, including definitions of key terminology and concepts (racial equity/inequity, implicit/explicit bias, individual/institutional/structural racism); and,
  • Gain an introductory understanding of operationalizing and organizing for racial equity.

Workshop dates and locations

This free workshop is repeated in three locations:

  • Grand Rapids Area Library, Grand Rapids, on Monday, November 5, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Blue Earth County Library, Mankato, on Friday, November 16, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Hennepin County Brookdale Library, Brooklyn Center, on Monday, December 3, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Workshops are limited to 50 participants each. Register today to hold your spot.

Please consider joining the workshop, and feel free to invite board members, library managers and front-line staff from your library to participate as well.

Workshop leaders

Image of Gordon Goodwin, Midwest Regional project Manager for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and workshop leader.Image of Jane Eastwood

Gordon Goodwin    Jane Eastwood

Gordon Goodwin, Midwest Regional Project Manager for the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), leads the workshop. Gordon has worked for 30 years with and for foundations, community development organizations and public/private sector consortia in metropolitan and rural settings to promote racial justice.

Jane Eastwood, Consultant, Independent Racial Equity and Libraries, is a co-presenter. Eastwood is the former Library Director for the Saint Paul Public Library and Education Director for the City of Saint Paul.

For questions about the workshop, contact Joe Manion, Library Development and Services Specialist at State Library Services, 651-582-8640.

Institute of Museum and Library services logo

This workshop is made possible, in part, by funding from the Minnesota Department of Education through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.