Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives


OCLC Research is convening community conversations around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the library field. EDI cuts across many areas of librarianship from staffing to collections and beyond. We hope to support libraries as they work through these issues and are working on a number of initiatives in that effort.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the OCLC Research Library Partnership Survey

In 2017, the OCLC Research Library Partnership (RLP) conducted a survey to explore if and how our 150 Partner institutions are modifying library and archival collections, practices, and services through the lens of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Our objective was to capture a snapshot of efforts across the Partnership to inform next steps, reveal possible directions to explore, and serve as a starting point for further discussions and action regarding EDI in the library field.

Read all about the survey and summary results.

Distinguished Seminar Series

OCLC Research has hosted the Distinguished Seminar Series since 1978, and beginning in 2016, the series began a focus on EDI issues. Here are the most recent presentations.

For the Greater (Not) Good (Enough): Open Access and Information Privilege

Char Booth addresses the concept that open access has had a huge impact on publishing and scholarly communication, yet who you are, what you earn, and how you research still create serious barriers to information availability.

We Have Never Been Neutral: Search, Discovery, and the Politics of Access

Dr. Kimberly Christen addresses the concept that library and archive practices are neutral and non-biased, trace the often violent histories of collecting and the construction of the public domain, unpack their connections to the foundations of libraries and archives, and open a space to provide a framework for ethical engagements and reciprocal practices through culturally responsive tools and engagements.

Welcome to the Library: Success of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

In this presentation, Trevor A. Dawes, Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums and May Morris University Librarian at the University of Delaware, reviewes the work of the ALA Task Force for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which he co-chaired, and also examines the diversity and inclusion efforts at several libraries.

View the full series.

OCLC Research Library Partnership Webinars

In addition to the Distinguished Seminar Series, the OCLC Research Library Partnership hosts a Works-in-Progress webinar series. Recent webinars that involve EDI include:

Works in Progress Webinar: Decolonizing Descriptions: Finding, Naming and Changing the Relationship between Indigenous People, Libraries and Archives

This webinar examines how two different organizations—the Association for Manitoba Archives and the University of Alberta Libraries—began the processes of examining subject headings and classification schemes as they relate to Indigenous people.

Works in Progress Webinar: Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Work in the MIT Libraries’ Collections Directorate

This webinar explores how MIT Libraries have implemented the recommendations of its Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Task Force, with a focus on the work of the Scholarly Communication and Collections Strategy department.


Explore equity and access resources on WebJunction.


As we continue to expand our efforts, we will add them here.


Early in our work, we consulted the definitions in the American Library Association’s Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion:

“Equity” takes difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair outcome. Equity recognizes that some groups were (and are) disadvantaged in accessing educational and employment opportunities and are, therefore, underrepresented or marginalized in many organizations and institutions. Equity, therefore, means increasing diversity by ameliorating conditions of disadvantaged groups.

“Diversity” can be defined as the sum of the ways that people are both alike and different. When we recognize, value, and embrace diversity, we are recognizing, valuing, and embracing the uniqueness of each individual.

“Inclusion” means an environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.