Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Last updated: April 16, 2021

What RAILS Is Doing: 

Message from Deirdre Brennan, RAILS Executive Director

  • The RAILS Board Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee.
    FY2021 meeting schedule
    The committee charge is to:

    • Develop a shared understanding of the nature of systemic racism and bias in libraries and library-related organizations and how to combat it
    • Advise the RAILS Board and staff about appropriate equity and accountability goals to which RAILS and libraries should aspire
    • Recommend ways to assess progress toward achieving those goals
      ​​The committee will also help to: identify barriers in libraries and the library field and solutions to eliminate them; develop ideas and programs to increase awareness about systemic racism and bias among member libraries, staff and boards; and facilitate system wide discussion about EDI.
    • Programs & Outreach Subcommittee
    • Recruitment, Hiring & Retention Subcommittee
    • Staff Training, Leadership & Advocacy Subcommittee
  • RAILS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Training Grants - Applications accepted through May 31, 2021
    To help promote education in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), RAILS is pleased to offer training grants of up to $2,000 for libraries, networking groups, and library consortia seeking to organize an EDI-focused training event. Send questions to Joe Filapek, RAILS Director of Consulting and Continuing Education. Read more and apply online.
  • Sparks Podcast Episode 28: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • RAILS EDI Mailing List
    All RAILS member library staff members interested in sharing ideas and best practices related to EDI are invited to subscribe to our EDI mailing list by visiting the Email Lists page in the Members section of the RAILS website and clicking on the Subscribe link for this mailing list.
  • Internal RAILS Staff EDI Initiative
    RAILS is beginning to work with a consultant on an internal staff EDI initiative. We need to examine and make the necessary changes to our own culture so we can authentically work with others on equity, diversity and inclusion. We will share our experiences as they develop via this pulse page.
  • RAILS EDI Goals and Objectives
    RAILS is currently working with our board on a document that better defines our EDI goals and objectives and includes action steps for achieving them. This document will continue to change and develop. Review Draft RAILS Responsibilities to Build a Better Society document.
  • Networking Group: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team in Youth Services (EDITY-YS)
    Library staff interested in meeting with like-minded youth services library staff to discuss diversity of all kinds are invited to join this networking group.



  • Celebration of You and Me: a collection of always available picture books about equity, diversity, and inclusion in the BiblioBoard Library.
  • Lawrence Hill Books: quality nonfiction on progressive politics, civil and human rights, feminism, and topics of interest to African Americans and other underrepresented groups.

​​eRead Illinois Axis 360:

  • eRead Illinois Axis 360 includes a curated list of racial justice titles with numerous anti-racism bestsellers. eRead Illinois Axis 360 members can access all of the titles in the bestsellers list. The list can also be added to an eRead library's Axis 360 site. See instructions.
Library Examples: 

Survey/Member Feedback

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Activities Survey
    Please submit information about your library's EDI activities.
    See survey results here.

Other Resources: 

    American Library Association Resources

    Illinois Library Association Resources

    LibGuides and other Academic Library Resources

    General Resources