Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The McGill Library supports equity, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility work — in programming, services, teaching and learning, staff culture, scholarship, and advocacy, however, we still have much learning to do – as individuals working in an academic research library, Library administrators leading teams, and as an organization as a whole. We look to align Library initiatives with those outlined in McGill’s Action Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism, McGill’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Strategic Plan (2020-2025) and our peer institutions who collectively advocate for more action to be taken in all areas of the academic research library organization. The Library commits to engaging with this challenging and ongoing work in a variety of ways with the aim of building deep and meaningful change.

The following action items have been undertaken by McGill Library in 2020-2021 or will be developed in 2021-2022 to address anti-Black racism and work in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI). 


Actions Executive owner(s) Progress
Create a LibGuide on anti-Black racism. LibGuides Committee  Completed  https://libraryguides.mcgill.ca/AntiRacism

Continue to publish related LibGuides and add EDI content to existing LibGuides in adjacent subject areas.

User Services

In progress

Create curated book displays in adjacent subject areas. User Services

In progress

Make primary source material more accessible through the creation of Reference Guides for McGill's Institutional History. Rare Books & Special Collections, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, Visual Arts Collection, Archives (ROAAr)

In progress

Archive of web content that documents McGill University's response to Anti-Black Racism, specifically within the context of the 2020 conversations around Black Lives Matter and calls to address Anti-Black Racism and systemic racism. Digital Initiatives and McGill University Archives


Animate primary resources featuring under-told McGill stories. 1) Build a digital game that showcases the contributions of historical, racialized and ethnically diverse McGillians. 2) Create of a podcast that explores the gaps in the McGill Library collections where voices are under-represented. ROAAr


Decolonization of subject headings.

Collection Services

In progress


Continue to develop and curate collections and other resources that represent the voices and expressions of black, Indigenous, people of colour and other underrepresented communities.

Collection Services

In progress

Library to support the planned monograph on McGill history. All units. Not yet started/on hold


Supporting Scholarly Practice

Actions Executive owner(s) Progress

Workshop for student journal editors on EDI Issues in scholarly publishing.

This workshop describes specific actions journal teams can take to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their publication and teams based on existing journal practices.

Jessica Lange

Completed completed

  • Workshop given twice in winter 2022 (once to McGill-only editors; second to Canadian student journal editors, including McGill). Workshops slides available for reuse.


Improving Library Services

Actions Executive owner(s) Progress

Gain practical experience with improving web site accessibility and implement lessons learned.

Digital Initiatives

In progress

  • The Gwillim digital exhibit, when launched later in 2022, will be a major step forward for the accessibility of McGIll's digital collections.
  • Early planning for Library web site refresh and move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is making room for accessibility improvements.


Human Resources

Actions Executive owner(s) Progress
In collaboration with the Academic Personnel Office, develop and implement revised procedures for ensuring members of underrepresented groups are present on short lists when hiring librarians. Specific changes might include excluding women from the definition of under-represented groups for librarian hires (since librarianship is a majority female profession), to more effectively target candidates who represent other types of diversity. Dean's Cabinet

Not yet started/on hold


In partnership with the School of Information Studies, implement a pilot program to recruit, train, and support people of colour in the field of librarianship. The pilot will provide funding for 2 Black students as Fellows, and the program if successful will extend to other under-represented groups in the future. Fellows will receive a tuition award in SIS to complete the MISt program, a part-time RA position in the Library while enrolled in SIS, and a two-year contract Librarian position following their earning of the MISt.

Initial applications are due January 15, 2023. Get more information.

Dean’s Cabinet and all units & McGill School of Information Studies





Professional Development

Actions Executive owner(s) Progress
Create professional development opportunities for staff to learn more about implicit bias and systemic racism. Continuing Education Committee  
  • Phase 1: The library will provide Continuing Education Funding for Interested staff members to attend courses including: 1) Cultural Competence for Librarians; 2) Examining Institutional Racism in Libraries ; 3) Allyship, Anti-Oppression Practices, and Building Inclusive Libraries; 4) Recruiting and Retraining Librarians from Underrepresented Minoritized Groups. A minimum of two panel discussions will be organized in Summer 2021, so that attendees can share their experiences with the wider library community.


Spring, summer and fall 2021.

  • Phase 2: Develop a monthly reading and discussion group for library staff, focusing on EDI articles.

Not yet started/on hold


  • Phase 3: Hold a Library-wide, in person workshop led by an external facilitator.

Not yet started/on hold


Implement a monthly internal talk series that highlights EDI work done by McGill Library staff and campus colleagues. The goal is to share information, build knowledge among library staff, and celebrate work that has been done.   


Cross-unit Collaborations

Actions Executive owner(s) Progress
Program to support graduate conducting students in the study and performance of music by composers from underrepresented groups. This 3-year pilot initiative is a collaboration between the Schulich School of Music, the Marvin Duchow Music Library, and its Gertrude Whitley Performance Library. The Program seeks to highlight the study of works by composers from underrepresented groups, in alignment with the University’s EDI Strategic Plan and Anti-Black Racism Action Plan. It aims to enrich the educational experience of conducting students and acknowledge their potential to bring positive influence and change to musical performance at McGill and beyond. The successful candidates of the first round will perform works by underrepresented composers including William Grant Still, William L. Dawson, and Ulysses Kay.

Schulich School of Music

Marvin Duchow Music Library

Gertrude Whitley Performance Library

In progress


The Indigenous Mentorship and Paid Research Experience for Summer Students (IMPRESS) offers Indigenous undergraduate students from McGill or other Quebec post-secondary institutions a unique experiential learning opportunity to conduct research with a McGill professor, or to work on a project at one of our units — all while being paid. IMPRESS will be working with McGill Library to offer an eight week summer internship opportunity that will provide students with the opportunity to explore academic librarianship by partnering with one of the library’s four main units: User Services, Digital Initiatives, Collection Services, and Rare & Special Collections, Osler, Art and Archives (ROAAr). Specific projects will be designed to best suit the interests and skills of candidates, along with the availability of librarian supervisors. Student will have the chance to work on projects in one or more of the following areas: 
  • Information Literacy and Research Assistance: instruction, reference services, and creation of user guides
  • Collection Development: resource discovery and collection promotion, including exhibits and displays
  • User Outreach: communication and orientation
  • Knowledge Synthesis: literature, systematic, scoping and other reviews
  • Scholarly Communication: copyright, data management and open access
  • Knowledge Equity and the Free Knowledge Movement: Wikipedia, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource
  • Digital Scholarship: digital publishing, data visualization, concept mapping, digital pedagogy, text analysis
  • Innovation Commons: 3D printing, one button recording studio, virtual reality
  • Digital Libraries: digitization and digital preservation
  • Exploration of traditional knowledge labelling in order to increase visibility and access to collection materials
  • Collection Services: Connecting students and faculty to resources for their teaching, learning and research, including acquiring them, cataloguing them, and borrowing them from other institutions.
User Services, Digital Initiatives, Collection Services, and Rare & Special Collections, Osler, Art and Archives (ROAAr).

Completed summer 2022 IMPRESS program completed



Completed completed | Ongoing ongoing | Not yet started/on hold not yet started or on hold


Last updated October 12, 2022

For questions regarding the Library's EDI initiatives, ideas for future actions or collaboration opportunities, please feel free to reach out. Any communications including identifying information or situations will be kept confidential, and no identifying information will be shared without your written permission.

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