Home    About    Advocacy    Resources    Committees    Membership    Foundation

Skip to Main Content

Committee for Diversity and Inclusion: Home

Committee for Diversity and Inclusion Google Group

Join the committee to share resources and engage in conversations by joining This Google Group

Committee Members

2023 Committee Members

  • Amanda Bellis (Chair) - Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library
  • Katie Dreyer (Shadow Chair)
  • Nancy Medema - (State Library of Iowa Representative) - State Library of Iowa
  • Kristi Anhalt - Cedar Falls Public Library
  • Aric Bishop - Gibson Memorial Library
  • Elsworth Carman - Iowa City Public Library
  • Brittany Dueker - Nevada Public Library
  • Rosie Francis - Ames Public Library
  • Maggie Halterman-Dess - University of Iowa
  • Bianca Sierra - Davenport Public Library
  • Courtney Sogard - Dayton Public Library
  • Wesley Teal - Iowa State University
  • Jeaneal Weeks - Hiawatha Public Library

Become Involved


Standing Committee Charge


Established as an Ad Hoc Committee January 29, 2016
Proposed Standing Committee June 8, 2018

Full Standing Committee status, October, 2018 via ILA membership vote.

The purpose of the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion is to advance awareness and improve service to a wide range of often underserved populations in Iowa. The Committee will promote awareness of issues related to traditionally underrepresented groups.  

The Committee for Diversity and Inclusion is comprised of no more than seven members, with the chair being a member of the ILA Executive Board. Members serve three year staggered terms. Additional members may be appointed at the request of the Committee and/or at the discretion of the Executive Board. 


  1. Promote inclusive library services.
  2. Encourage recruitment and retention of diverse staff.
  3. Provide opportunities for educational and professional development of existing staff focusing on issues of diversity and inclusion. 
  4. Communicate timely issues to the ILA membership.
  5. Connect the membership with local and national resources and organizations.
  6. Follow all established ILA policies and procedures that relate to committees. 


Revision History

Created May 2016
Revised July 2019

Committee for Diversity & Inclusion Activities

Committee Activities

  • Distribute monthly Resource Round-Up emails containing links of interest related to topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
  • Supported the initial work of Kate Faford-Johnson’s zine, Queer in the Cornbelt, focusing on LBGTQIA+ health outreach and formed a sub-committee to continue that work, including writing a letter of support of their application for a Health Information Outreach award from National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
  • Established the ILA for ALL Membership Award, a scholarship to fund one year of membership fees for a member or potential member with one or more traditionally underrepresented identities. This scholarship is in partnership with ILA’s LLAMA.
  • Facilitated cohorts of a bi-monthly Social Justice Discussion Group, 2020.
  • Facilitated cohorts of Dr. Eddie Moore's 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, 2019
  • Facilitated the organization and proposal of the following ILA Conference presentations:
    • Our World, Our Libraries: Diversity as Intentional Practice, 2017, Presented by Katelyn Browne, Amy Golly, and Vera Scrivner.
      • Description: This panel, consisting of Iowa librarians, will provide attendees with a foundational knowledge, vocabulary, and resources to build diverse collections and library environments, and will provide the basis for an ongoing conversation regarding the diverse needs of the communities we serve. Topics may include timely publications and collection development; community involvement, services, and programming; cultural awareness and intersectionality; and diversity and inclusion as a whole. Time for discussion and questions may conclude the session. We believe these concepts, principles, and resources are applicable for all library types and patron ages.
    • Creating, Cultivating, and Celebrating: Culturally Respectful Programming and Collections, 2018, Presented by Harrison Inefuku, Tanvi Rastogi, Vera Scrivner, Mara Strickler, and Cara B. Stone. 
      • Description: Creating programs and cultivating collections that celebrate cultures can be difficult, especially when selected cultures are not represented in our communities. What questions and considerations can we think about to help ensure we are developing culturally-sensitive programming and collections? How do we support our employees and empower them to explore diverse programming in a culturally informed way, all while navigating barriers of shrinking budgets, minimal staff, and shifting demographics? Collections build the foundation where cultures can be made visible in our libraries, and where many of our community members can seek to learn more. Is the collection we have addressing this need? How can we effectively acquire and promote print and electronic resources that highlight the experiences and perspectives of those within diverse communities? Programming for and about diverse and marginalized populations furthers the library goals of serving all members of one’s community and creating connections between community members. When staff aren’t cultural experts, partnerships enable us to develop culturally sensitive programs. Learn how to develop partnerships that result in meaningful library programming and strengthen both program content and community engagement. There will be time at the end for questions, discussion, and open dialogue.
    • Digital Accessibility 101, 2019, Presented by Cyndi Wiley. (Co-sponsored by the ILA Information Technology Subdivision)
      • Description: Libraries are often a haven of connection and resources for the community but sometimes lack a cohesive plan to implement principles of digital accessibility, which is increasing in importance with approximately 20% of the US population experiencing some type of disability (either temporary or permanent). Addressing digital accessibility can seem overwhelming. This session will present the basics of what it is, why it is important and how it applies to all sizes of library systems. Attendees will learn about creating digital experiences with accessibility in mind and legal requirements of the ADA that apply to websites and digital document creation. - Canceled due to speaker family emergency
    • Diversity & Inclusion Unconference Sessions, 2017, 2018, 2019
      • Description: Participants will discuss issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to all types of libraries. This session is an open space for brainstorming, collaborating, and inspiration. The conversation will be flexible, with ground-rules and dialogue driven by the participants. 
  • Conducted an assessment of needs survey administered to library staff, trustees, and retired personnel, April 2018.
  • Drafted a proposal for converting the committee from ad hoc to full standing committee.
  • Drafted organization manual language detailing the committee's charge and make-up.
  • Developed and proposed language for ILA to adopt as our association's Statement on Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, approved by the ILA Executive Board, December 2019.

This page last updated December 07, 2019.

Iowa Library Association Statement on Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Iowa Library Association Statement on
Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The Iowa Library Association (ILA) sees issues relating to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion as inherently linked and essential to the practice of librarianship. 

ILA takes a broad view of these issues, considering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of our membership, the communities we serve, the state of Iowa, nationally, and globally. 

ILA values, supports, and promotes inclusive practices, and considers and encourages diverse perspectives.

Libraries have an important role in empowering diverse or underrepresented populations. 

It is vital that libraries, those who serve within libraries, and professional associations demonstrate an understanding of informed, considered, respectful, and responsible practice for the greater good, not only for the communities served, but also within the profession itself. 

ILA is proactive and committed to efforts that combat racism, prejudice, stereotyping, harassment, and discrimination on the basis of, but not limited to, “race, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, color, religious background, national origin, language of origin or disability” (ALA Policy Manual Section B: Positions and Public Policy Statements, American Library Association, 2019, p. 24). 

Beyond the areas listed above, ILA is committed to remaining flexible and adaptable in response to the ways in which our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion changes over time, working to align ILA’s efforts to be at the forefront of social progress, social justice, and cultural competence as they relate to libraries.


Adopted by the ILA Executive Board
December 6, 2019

Resource Round-Up Blog