Addressing equity issues in our communities with a results-based approach can be challenging and overwhelming. Where does an organization even start? This was the problem faced by Los Angeles County Library leadership. LA County is one of the largest and most diverse jurisdictions in the country and faces daily challenges with race inequity, homelessness, immigration struggles and more. With 87 libraries, the Library is strongly positioned in its communities, but wanted to elevate their efforts to make a lasting impression on customers' quality of life. To accomplish this goal, the iCount @ the Library initiative was created. iCount: Removing Barriers to Equity @ Your Library is Los Angeles County Library's innovative service model that ensures the Library is making a conscious effort to design services and programs that address the needs of the diverse community it serves, which includes customers of different age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, physical ability, nationality, legal status and more. iCount is designed to reduce barriers to access and engages all levels of staff to be part of the solution by guiding them through the process of creating Library Equity Action Plans (LEAPs) for each of their communities. Supervisors also learn how to facilitate discussions in each of their branch libraries and in non-public facing divisions on these different equity issues, then work together with all levels of staff to develop and implement their LEAP. The iCount initiative empowers staff to become more aware of key social issues in their local communities. They learn to identify areas of inequity and become more sensitive to customers' unique needs, purposefully designing programs that provide localized solutions. Participants at this workshop will receive a copy of the equity tool and other training materials to use and adapt to their own organizational needs. LA County Library staff will be walk participants through the iCount toolkit, including the process of leading staff discussions around equity and developing a community-responsive Library Equity Action Plan. Participants will also hear about the actual LEAPs developed by libraries to use as inspiration in their own organizations. Participants will also learn how the Library created engagement and buy-in from staff and how they supported staff efforts to avoid work overload.
ALA Unit/Subunit: PLA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.