Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI): A London Library for All 

The Library is a place for inspiration and support that is open and welcoming to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, disability or age. We are grateful to staff, members and visitors to the Library for helping us to make the London Library a place for all. 

To assist us in this aim we have developed an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy which can be articulated in the following four themes and supported by an action plan:

People: Improve the diversity of the Library’s stakeholders (including members, staff, trustees, supporters and partners) to better reflect the demographics of the adult population in London and the UK. 

Actions include:

  • Recruitment practices such as equality monitoring, wide advertising, encouraging a wide range of candidates in job advertisements
  • Guidance and training for staff, trustees and anyone who represents the Library
  • Reflecting a diverse range of people in our communication channels
  • Ensuring our programming and content includes a diverse range of people
  • Marketing and audience development plans to advertise the Library widely and encourage a wide range of new members

Collection: Ensure a diversity of voices and viewpoints are reflected in new acquisitions for the collection and that the presentation of the collection is culturally sensitive.

Our incredible collection is what draws people to the Library, it is therefore important that we address it in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion.

The Library houses around one million volumes comprising books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, maps and other items, collected over 180+ years and dating from 1500 to the present day. The Library’s collection, organized by its own Victorian-based classification scheme and mostly held on open, browsable shelves, provides a unique discovery experience for its members who find the historic and the contemporary alongside each other amongst the shelves.

However, such a historic collection inevitably holds material containing views that are abhorrent today. The Library acknowledges this, and while we do not intend to remove items from the collection, we will address this issue.

Actions include:

  • situating these materials in their appropriate historical context, e.g. in collection guides and induction tours;
  • working, as we always have, to correct elements of the classification scheme to correctly represent contemporary nomenclature;
  • ensuring that a diverse range of authors and publishers are represented within the new acquisitions.

Building and Facilities: Provide a Library building that is as accessible and navigable as possible.

Actions include:

  • Improving signage in the building
  • Identifying interventions which can improve inclusion and autonomy for members for example, adjustable desks and automated lighting for the book stacks

Reputation: Be recognised as an inclusive organisation amongst our stakeholders and peer organisations, including sources of philanthropic income.

Actions include:

  • Communicating our commitment to EDI internally and externally.