Equity Commitment

The Shorewood Public Library is committed to achieving equity, diversity and inclusion for our patrons, staff, and the greater community.  In so doing, the Library acknowledges that systemic and structural racism, prejudice, and unconscious biases exist in our society and at our library. 

Achieving equity, diversity and inclusion will take concerted and ongoing effort on the part of staff and the library trustees.  How do we do this?

  • We will apply an equity lens when drafting and reviewing policy, creating, and implementing programs, when we select and curate our collections, and in all the library work that we do.  An equity lens is the ongoing work of recognizing and working with our own biases and noticing forms and expressions of inequities and oppression.
  • We are committed to seeking and receiving feedback to help us meet our commitment to equity, inclusion and becoming an anti-racist organization. If we identify people who may be held back by our decisions and practices, we will ask and listen to feedback from those who may be impacted. Patrons may submit anonymous feedback via an online form found on our homepage.
  • We will continue to provide learning opportunities for patrons, staff, and trustees on issues of racism, societal inequities, unseen persons, unconscious biases, and the value of diversity.
  • We are committed to diversifying our library staff and board of trustees and will intentionally recruit people from historically marginalized groups and create a culture of support, leading to retention and opportunities for advancement. 
  • We will collaborate with other organizations to work toward racial equity and social justice for people that live, work and spend time in Shorewood and beyond. 

Approved by the Library Board on November 11, 2020

Download the Equity Commitment

Why have a statement of commitment regarding equity and inclusion?

  • It demands accountability from library leadership, trustees and staff members
  • It provides focus for organizational priorities and planning
  • It legitimizes and incorporates the commitment in the library’s culture

Resources to inform our library staff, administration and trustees:

American Library Association http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity

Public Library Association http://www.ala.org/pla/initiatives/edi

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction https://dpi.wi.gov/pld/inclusive-services

What is an equity lens? http://www.sccyvpt.org/uploads/6/4/4/7/64475291/sc_what_is_an_equity_lens.pdf

Kirkus Collections https://www.kirkusreviews.com/diversity/about/

Government Alliance on Race and Equity https://www.racialequityalliance.org/resources/advancing-racial-equity-in-public-libraries-case-studies-from-the-field/



2021 Equity & Inclusion Objectives

2021 is our first full year with the Equity Commitment in place. Many of these actions to be undertaken this year will become ongoing, annual work. By spelling out these objectives, we are holding ourselves accountable for doing the work, and providing a way to quantify it, set benchmarks, and grow.

  • Integrate the collection and presentation of data indicators into the existing annual planning process and calendar.
  • Offer six optional staff meetings focused on EDI issues that relate to library actions.
  • Complete the WI Inclusive Services Assessment tool annually and log annual improvements.
  • Situate and promote online anonymous feedback form for candid feedback. Respond to feedback within 48 hours. Log all submissions.
  • Create an Equity Commitment webpage with data indicators to create accountability and transparency for the public, staff and trustees.
  • Require a minimum of two hours of training for staff on equity, diversity and inclusion topics; include in budget.
  • Require a minimum of two hours of training for library trustees on equity, diversity and inclusion topics; include in budget.
  • Offer two learning opportunities on equity, diversity and inclusion subjects to the community via library programs; include in budget; gather post-program evaluations.
  • Work with village department heads to create policy statement and process regarding diversity and checking unconscious bias in hiring.
  • Participate in the Earn & Learn program providing a work experience for a teen in the summer; allocate resources for staff supervisor.
  • Connect with one new community organization affiliated with equity work each year.
  • Provide staff and trustees one service project option with organization(s) engaged in equity work each year; personnel committee may organize; may be in partnership with all village employees.