Leading Inclusively: BIPOC Library Workers Perspective 


Florida is a racially and ethnically diverse state, with the numbers continuing to grow. Whom we serve, collaborate with, work alongside, and lead, are people with intersecting identities, who navigate the world differently, and many who have been marginalized, underrepresented, erased and oppressed. We must reckon with and acknowledge the existing (and working to be historical) exclusionary, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and more structures (i.e., policies, practices, cultural norms, etc.) that undergirds our societies. Inclusion, equity, diversity, accessibility, anti-racism, and racial justice must be at the core of our values and embedded in our daily practice, and not simply exist as 'empty' statements, meaningless platitudes, or performative gestures. The impetus for change should not be continually tied to the loss of lives and livelihoods. That leading inclusively is a call to action-consistent and lifelong action - centered on substantive and systematic changes. 

BIPOC library employees and LIS professionals will discuss:

  1. The importance and impact of undoing the implicit biases of the profession that harms them and the communities we serve,

  2. What their definition of 'lead inclusively' means, including examples and experiences,

  3. Exploring what critical examination of library spaces, services, resources, and practices means and;

  4. Identifying and proposing ways to remove barriers to this work.

We ask attendees to engage in active listening, be open to panelists' differing experiences, and to reflect on their roles in centering BIPOC folks, fighting for racial justice, and eradicating racism, especially anti-Black racism. This panel comprises BIPOC library professionals from several library types, areas, specializations, and positions. The panelists range from early to advanced careers and include those who do not have an MLIS or advanced degree. 



  • Kawanna Bright, PhD, College of Education, East Carolina University

  • Amelia N. Gibson, PhD, School of Library & Information Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Twanna Hodge, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Librarian, University of Florida