Sessions Focused on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) - Other Events (Posters, News You Can Use, Discussion Groups, and more)

ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) curated this list for conference attendees who may be interested in sessions targeting equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). The sessions are grouped by session type with definitions to guide attendees through the selections. Please note that this information was curated by ODLOS specifically, there may be some flexibility in each session’s categorization and/or level of understanding. 

Other events may include:

  • Discussion Group - Any general session where a discussion/interest group is holding an open conversation that is included as part of the regular conference registration fee.
  • News You Can Use - An hour-long session that offers the latest updates from experts on policy, research, statistics, technology, and more, based on new surveys, reports, legislation/regulation, and projects. 
  • Orientation - An opportunity for new or potential members to learn more about a specific member group and meet other members.
  • Poster Sessions - An effective forum for the exchange of information and a means to communicate ideas, research, and programs through the use of visuals. 

Definitions of Levels of Understanding

Introductory Level - These sessions are geared toward attendees who have no prior or little experience with equity, diversity, or inclusion topics. Attendees who have limited knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion are encouraged to attend these sessions.  

Intermediate Level - These sessions are appropriate for attendees who have attended a few webinars or workshops surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion and would like to learn more. These sessions start analyzing how the library profession can decenter power. 

Advanced Level - These sessions are appropriate for those who are experienced with nuanced concepts of social justice, power and privilege, identity, equity, and inclusion. Attendees who are facilitators and leaders in areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion and those looking to deepen their knowledge are encouraged to attend. 

Other Events

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table 101 (GLBTRT)
Type: Orientation
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 23, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Do you want to learn more about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT)? Are you itching to serve on a committee? If so, this information session is perfect for you! Join GLBTRT veterans, executive board members, and committee members to talk about ways to get more involved with the GLBTRT and LGBTQ+ issues in your library and community.

GNCRT Friday Discussion Forum: Social Justice and Comics 
Type: Discussion Group
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 21, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
It's Personal! Social Justice and the Personal Narrative
Join us for a panel with a unique perspective: You! We'll discuss with creators and publishers what it's like to create an autobiographical story and examine the intersection of the personal and the political.

So Many Comics, So Little Time!
How can you possibly keep track of all the titles coming out and all the topics they cover? In this session, you’ll spend time in small groups with creators and colleagues discussing titles that work for different social justice topics. After the session, all the titles will be combined into a totally excellent resource just for you!

Art and Activism: The Rich History of Comics and Social Justice
Social justice in comics has a rich history and tradition that carries into the present. Creators confronting and questioning social issues and politics in graphic form brings subjects to audiences who may not have been exposed to the topics before. This panel brings comics creators together to discuss their perspectives on using comics and graphic novels as a way to address social justice topics. 

Hate Speech and Libraries (SRRT)
Type: Discussion Group
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 22, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
In 2018 a controversy over the challenge of hate speech erupted within ALA. Positions adopted by the Office of Intellectual Freedom and Council emphasized that libraries must respect First Amendment protections even of hate speech. Critics argued that the presence of hate speech and hate groups in libraries injures users from vulnerable communities and undermines the equity, diversity, and inclusion that are central to intellectual freedom. In response to objections, Council subsequently rescinded its policy revision and adopted a new one. This discussion group will present differing views on how to address hate speech and will invite participation in this important debate.

Opening speakers will include

Sofia Leung, Teaching & Learning Program Manager at MIT Libraries, Liaison Librarian to the department of Comparative Media Studies at MIT, and member of the We Here network for librarians of color; and

Tom Twiss, Librarian Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh, co-coordinator of the Social Responsibilities Round Table’s International Responsibilities Task Force, and member of SRRT’s Action Council.

Women's Issues in ALA Discussion Group
Type: Discussion Group
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 22, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Every Annual Conference we hold this program as an opportunity for people to discuss real issues that are important to them as well as learn about how to get involved with women’s groups in ALA. The topic for this year’s discussion will be strategies for advancing gender equity in the library workplace – as individuals and as leaders, what we can do to cultivate a workplace that values and fosters respect for all. Sponsored by the SRRT Feminist Task Force (FTF), the ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS) and the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL).

Behind the Scenes: Creating a Diverse World of Comics 
Type: Discussion Group
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 22, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Join publishers and creators from around the world to learn about the routes graphic novels take to come to your attention and to your library. What makes up the process? How are editorial decisions made? How do publishers seek out and champion diverse voices in the medium? What role can librarians play and at which points? Attendees will learn about what happens behind the scenes in creating a graphic novel, the careful work of translating cultural context and languages, marketing, issues around censorship, and how to advocate for an inclusive, international collection.

2019 ALA Diversity & Outreach Fair
Type: Poster Session
Level of Understanding: Introductory - Advanced
June 22, 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Each year, the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services invites library professionals from all kinds of institutions to submit proposals to participate in the ALA Diversity and Outreach Fair, which is held during ALA’s Annual Conferences.

The Fair highlights library services to underserved or underrepresented communities, including people with disabilities; people experiencing poverty and homelessness; people of color; English-language learners; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people; new Americans, new and non-readers; older adults; people living in rural areas; incarcerated people and ex-offenders; and mobile library services and bookmobiles.

Selected presenters will develop and facilitate a poster session to be held during the ALA Annual Conference in the exhibits hall. In addition, the participants are encouraged to submit, in digital format, information, and resources from their program.

Literacy for All: Resources for Serving Learners Across the Lifespan
Type: News You Can Use
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 23, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Join ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services and Committee on Literacy for highlights from our key literacy initiatives, the newly-published “Literacy for All: Adult Literacy through Libraries” toolkit and the ALA Literacy Clearinghouse ( These free resources will help you add, expand, and advocate for literacy services at your library. Learn about model library literacy programs, resources from across the Association for serving target populations, and how libraries are helping to increase access and opportunities across multiple literacies.

LGBTQ Creators and Characters in Kids, Tween, and Teen Comic 
Type: Discussion Group
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 23, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
LGBTQIA+ creators and characters are increasingly visible in comics for young readers, from kids through to teens. This panel brings together queer creators and allies to discuss the importance of centering queer stories, working to break stereotypes and the importance of giving all young readers the chance to meet queer characters in comics pages. Creators will talk about their inspirations, new and upcoming works, and how kids comics can create space for even more narratives.

Exploring Trauma and Recovery through Comics 
Type: Discussion Group
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 24, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
Trauma is life-changing, from living through the explosive conflict of a war zone to recovering from personal ordeals. Eyewitness accounts are particularly well evoked in the constraints and freedoms of a graphic narrative. This panel will draw together creators who can speak from their first-hand knowledge of violence and the work that goes into expressing a traumatic event in comics. Attendees will learn about expressing strong emotion and experiences graphically, the difficulties of first-person narration and reportage, and receive suggestions for their collections.

Resources for Rural and Tribal Libraries - Advocacy and Literacy
Type: News You Can Use
Level of Understanding: Introductory
June 24, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. 
Join ALA’s Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds (RNTLOAK) for a look at advocacy and literacy in rural and tribal communities. Members of RNTLOAK will present their updated toolkit and a look ahead to projects for 2019. Researchers Aaron Lafromboise (Director of Library Services, Blackfeet Community College) and Anthony Chow (Associate Professor, UNC Greensboro Department of Library and Information Studies) will share findings from their work "Reading Nation: Understanding Attitudes on Libraries and Literacy on Blackfeet Reservation." Build your knowledge of rural and tribal libraries and engage with a community of advocates.