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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 To be completed by fall 2021.

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

User Services

Create curated book displays in adjacent subject areas. User Services

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)

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

Not yet started/on hold


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

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

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. 

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

Not yet started/on hold


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

Summer and fall 2021 and 2022

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

Not yet started/on hold

Winter 2022 or when public health permits in-person gatherings.


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


Last updated May 12, 2021

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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