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/



2022 Equity & Inclusion Objectives

2022 is our second full year with the Equity Commitment in place. Many of these actions will continue to be 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.

  • Inclusion of an optional, weighted equity, diversity and inclusion component in the construction management firm (library renovation) request for proposals process.
  • Submission of a proposal to the Friends of the Shorewood Public Library to support the bathroom equity movement to supply free period products in the women’s and gender neutral bathrooms.
  • Continued participation in the Milwaukee County Earn and Learn program supporting a teen intern for the summer.
  • Research methods to measure diversity of staff, potentially partnering with the village.
  • Participate in the village Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion environmental scan process.
  • Engage in conversation with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation regarding the diversity of their investment fund managers.
  • Offer two community learning opportunities on equity, diversity and inclusion topics, include in the budget and consider program partnerships with the Human Relations Commission, Shorewood School District, Senior Resource Center and Shorewood Foundation.
  • Require two hours of training for library staff and trustees related to equity, diversity and inclusion topics and include in the budget.

completed Equity & Inclusion Objectives

  • Integrated the collection and presentation of the Equity Commitment objectives and data indicators into our existing annual planning process and calendar.
  • Completed five sections of the Wisconsin Inclusive Services Assessment tool.
  • Added and promoted an online anonymous feedback form on our homepage for candid feedback. 
  • Created of an Equity Commitment webpage to create accountability and transparency for the public, staff and trustees.
  • Many staff attended training focused on equity, diversity and inclusion topics in 2021 including these classes and sessions: Collection management with an anti-racist lens, Fostering an anti-racist library culture, ICS Ally Academy with the Shorewood School District, Milwaukee for all- Early childhood education and Unlearning racism.
  • The Library offered multiple community learning opportunities in 2021, often in partnership with other organizations or departments including: Four-part series: Do Black lives matter? Affordable housing 101 and Understanding racism as a threat to public health.
  • Participated in the Milwaukee County Earn and Learn program supporting a teen intern at the library and allocated resources for a staff supervisor.
  • The Library, in partnership with the Shorewood Human Relations Education Subcommittee, offered a learning opportunity for children and families in 2022. A video recording of the program A Smart Kid's Guide To Race & Inclusion may be viewed here.  The workbook is available here.