Cultural Literacy and Diversity for Librarians

Jump-start your 2019/2020 school year!

Join us for two impactful and inspirational days of professional development. Discount available when you attend both.

Leadership Basecamp, Monday, August 12 followed by our Diversity Workshop, Tuesday, August 13


Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 | Registration opens at 9:30 AM | Program Ends 5:00 PM

Early Bird Rate - $163.30 (ends July 26) | Standard Rate - $204.12

Early Bird Two-Day Access Pass - $228.61 (ends July 26) | Standard Rate Two-Day Access Pass - $285.71

The editors of School Library Journal present a one-day workshop on Cultural Literacy and Diversity for Librarians. This immersive, interactive day of learning will focus on the evaluation of books and media, collection development practices, readers’ advisory, and book marketing and promotion.

Attendees will come away with an understanding of key concepts, such as white privilege, implicit bias, and intersectionality. Librarians will learn how to recognize offensive stereotypes, tropes, and microaggressions within media and how to assess for authenticity and appropriation.

Participants will get an overview and tips on performing a diversity audit and learn how to craft selection policies that set benchmarks for diversity and inclusion.



Instructors will include Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal reference and professional reading editor; Kiera Parrott, reviews director at Library Journal and School Library Journal, and Cassie Sheets, University of Montana Instructor and Children's Literature Consultant.

Primary audience: school librarians; public youth services librarians; educators

Key skills/competencies addressed:

  • Understanding of key diversity and cultural literacy concepts such as white privilege, implicit bias, stereotypes and tropes, microaggressions, cultural appropriation, and intersectionality.
  • Ability to recognize common problematic elements in text and art.
  • Ability to assess the diversity and inclusiveness of current collection development, RA, and promotional practices.
  • Tools, tips, and advice on how to better diversify collections and displays and how to advocate for inclusive books.




Special group pricing is available. Attend with a team from your school or school district for a unique team building experience. Contact us today to learn more.

Questions? Please email

If you need to inquire about a refund, please email or

Discounts available to members of our partner organizations! If you have a partner promo code, please enter it on the next screen to activate your discounted rate.



9:30 AM – 10:00 AM | Registration

10:00 AM – 12:30 AM | Building the Foundation: Critical Concepts and Frameworks

  • Overview of the Day, Agreements, and Toolkit 
  • A Look at Librarianship & Publishing Statistics, and the State of “Diverse Books”
    Overview of industry statistics and a refresher on Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s concept of “windows
    and mirrors.”
  • What Does It Mean To Be Culturally Competent?  
    Participants will learn about the Bennett Model of Cultural Competency and test their skills at
    identifying the various stages of competency.
  • What Are the Dimensions of Diversity?
    Participants will learn about and discuss the core, primary, secondary, organizational, and era-
    based elements that comprise identity.
  • What Is Implicit Bias?
    Participants will learn about implicit, or unconscious, prejudices and how bias affects their work in
    libraries and classrooms.
  • Understanding and Exploring Privilege
    After learning about Peggy McIntosh’s “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” framework, participants
    will engage in an activity designed to explore and better understand one’s various privileges
    and how those privileges impact our ability to empathize and adapt to other perspectives.
  • What Does It Mean to Apply an “Intersectional Lens”?
    Participants will examine Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality and how an
    understanding of this framework allows individuals to evaluate literature, media, and
    library services through a more inclusive lens.

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Lunch

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Putting It Into Practice

  • A Brief History
    A snapshot look at U.S. history from the perspective of marginalized and oppressed communities, critically examining the ways colonialism, genocide, slavery, and white supremancy infuse and inform systemic and institutional practices and legislation.
  • Identifying Red Flags
    A deep dive into specific problematic areas in literature and popular media that librarians,
    materials selectors, and anyone engaging in readers’ advisory or book promotion should be
    aware of and able to identify.
  • Book Evaluation Practice
    After learning about “red flags” in literature and media, participants will analyze and discuss several titles.
  • Application to Everyday Responsibilities
    Tips and advice on how to apply culturally competent practices to everyday library work.
  • Personal Action Plan
    Finally, participants will reflect on what they’ve learned and identify three actionable items to
    launch or refine within their library or school; personal action plans will be mailed back to
    each participant in approximately 30 days.

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