Committee on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice – January–June 2023 Report

The group met 4-6 times this reporting period.

After reviewing the current PLA Strategic Plan, please tell us:

Describe the current work of this committee and how it supports our strategic goals. Include work accomplished, decisions made, and any recommended follow-up actions.
The current PLA Strategic Plan includes five goals- 1. Transformation; 2. Leadership; 3. Advocacy and Awareness; 4. Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice (EDISJ); and 5. Organizational Excellence. As it has stated in the plan, these strategic goals are neither discrete nor linear. They are interconnected and support one another. The concepts of EDISJ are embedded in the other four goals to ensure public libraries receive adequate supports to bring structural changes. This year, the EDISJ committee are divided into two subcommittees to take on different projects to support PLA to advance its strategic plan.

Subcommittee 1 has been working on a EDISJ policy so that it provides a framework for other libraries to adapt to their own needs. Subcommittee 2 creates a website of EDISJ challenge activities that libraries can be easily utilize for their own public program and advocacy.

At this point, both subcommittees have completed the bulk part of these two projects. After some considerations, both current co-chairs recognize the benefits of having the new committee members come on board in July to provide a fresh perspective on these two projects. Both projects will be wrapped up by the end of 2023.

Do you see opportunities to better align committee work with those goals?
When new committee members come on board in July 2023, co-chairs will conduct one-on-one meeting with newcomers. With both subcommittee projects in mind, co-chairs will review PLA strategic plan with each new members to ensure EDISJ policy and challenge are aligned and will advance PLA strategic goals.

What recommendations do you have for in-coming committee members? Are there particular streams of
work in progress to be carried over into the new committee year?
(January–June reporting period only)
It will be very helpful if in-coming committee members review PLA strategic plan and the on-going work of both subcommittees.

Once we welcome in-coming members through the one-on-one meeting, hopefully everyone will hit the ground and finish both projects by the end of 2023.

What specific activities will this committee undertake over the next six months to support that alignment? (July–December reporting period only)

Are there other PLA or ALA committees whose partnership and collaboration would accelerate meeting PLA strategic goals?
Not at this time.

Is there anything else about your committee experience you’d like to share?
I understand EDISJ is a current hot topic and many librarians are very passionate about it. We have a big roster of talented library staff across the country. As we live and work in different time zones, it is difficult to communicate and schedule meetings that suit everyone. We do the best we can. I have to say, I truly enjoy the diversity and the experience that everyone brings to the table. I look forward to working with everyone in the coming year.

Submitted by Tamara King and Peggy Tseng on 06/07/2023