Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: Seattle’s ‘Loud at the Library’ Collaboration
By CiKeithia Pugh and Brooke Doyle
In this article from the Fall 2019 issue of Children and Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, Pugh and Doyle share how the Seattle Public Library (SPL) has explored new paths in pursuit of racial equity, and the lessons that all libraries can take from this effort.
Relationships are at the center of libraries’ work, and in the absence of those connections, we make assumptions about the interests and emerging needs of communities. This results in practices that continue to tell the same story and imply institutions know what is best instead of listening directly to those we wish to serve.
Community engagement provides many opportunities to cultivate new relationships. Traditionally, libraries’ approach to developing programming has been limited to internal discussions and planning, but this excludes some critical voices. Communities are dynamic and ever changing. We must start by taking a close look at our common practices in relation to our communities. This simple action is an important beginning step in leading for equity in our libraries. This article shares an illuminating example of community engagement efforts at SPL that led to the creation of a new storytime program, Loud at the Library. Pugh presents more about racial equity and storytimes in WebJunction's Supercharged Storytimes self-paced course.
Pugh, CiKeithia, Brooke Doyle. “Equity, Diversity, Inclusion: Seattle’s ‘Loud at the Library’ Collaboration.” Children and Libraries, Fall 2019: 27–29.