Skip to main content

The Inclusive Library: Serving Diverse User Populations

Planning for Inclusiveness

A truly inclusive library is not something that just happens. Libraries that want to be more inclusive need to include diversity and inclusion in the planning process. The following are some ideas that may be useful in the planning process.

Complete a survey of the communtiy or communities the library serves.

Describe the entire population of potential library users. Consult information sources that document demographical information about the area served to make sure you have a correct understanding of the makeup of the community the population. Make a list of all the groups in the community. Who uses the library and what do they use it for? Who doesn't use the library.

Complete a survey of library staff.

What groups do your library staff members belong to or have connections with? What community groups are not represented? How do staff interact with the various groups?

Include people from the various groups in the planning process.

There may be considerable diversity within your library staff, but chances are you do not have representatives from all the groups that your library potentially serves.

Consider what barriers may be inhibiting use of the library.

For the groups that are not making use of the library, what barriers might be inhibiting use by the groups that are not making use of the library? 

Plan together.

What can the library do to reduce the barriers? Are there services that need changed or new services that could be offered? How can communication about library services be improved? 

Footer for USD LibGuide v2.0