Meeting on EPL board meeting to discuss the results of equity study


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. EPL board members will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the results of a month long study on equity, diversity and inclusion.

Wilson Chapman , Web Editor

Evanston Public Library board members will meet on Wednesday to discuss the results of a community-wide equity, diversity and inclusion study.

The meeting will assess the requests and responses from the equity, diversity and inclusion study, which was conducted by consultant group DeEtta Jones and Associates, who interviewed over 100 Evanston residents from January to September.

According to a Tuesday news release, the study indicated a desire from the Evanston community for a greater library presence in neighborhoods. In Wednesday’s meeting, board members are set to focus on new ways for the library to approach outreach.

In particular, members will discuss how to increase EPL’s presence in the 5th Ward and how to connect with communities that have been under-supported by library resources in the past, such as black and Latinx Evanston residents.

“We recognize that a history of racism and ongoing racial disparities in our country, in our community, and in our institutions creates real trust issues that require a longstanding commitment, thoughtful action, constant work and honest dialogue to overcome,” EPL director Karen Danczak Lyons said in the release.

Other recommendations from the study will be discussed and explored at the meeting, such as working with Patricia Efiom, Evanston’s equity and empowerment coordinator, to create a city-wide engagement assessment process, establish an internal group of EPL staff focused on equity issues and offer workshops to enhance the cultural competence of its staffers.

“Ensuring the library is addressing all of its constituents’ needs or desires requires candid conversations,” management consultant DeEtta Jones said in the press release.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at EPL.

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