Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries
Diego Luis Diaz, Jonathan Pongratz, Schuyler Sun, and Beau Woodson, 2023 Showcase

Showcase INFO 232 - Issues in Public Libraries

Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries

Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries: Equality. Achievement. Equity. Citizens of the United States hold these values close to their hearts. Despite this auspicious communal mindset, injustices continue to persist across the nation, especially for individuals of varying ethnicities. In recent years, a number of public libraries have become trailblazers in their efforts to acknowledge and address racial inequities, setting the stage for others to follow this ambitious undertaking. This report explores the ways in which public libraries have begun to make racial equity a priority in their communities and why it is necessary to reflect upon our past to guide our future. By shedding light upon racial inequity and the changes libraries are bringing forth, this report hopes to rally other libraries and institutions serving the public in further addressing this critical issue.

Diego L. Diaz

Diego Diaz is a resident of North California. He started in the MLIS program in the Fall of 2021. Diego has worked in public libraries since 2018. He started as an On-call Library Assistant, advancing to career Library Assistant and Circulation Supervisor, and was recently promoted to Branch Supervisor. He enjoys working in public libraries because he can help connect patrons to resources and communicate with community-based organizations to advertise library programs and initiatives.


Jonny Pongratz is an author and current MLIS student. With an expected graduation date of Fall 2024, he seeks a career in public librarianship with an emphasis in youth services and merchandising.


Schuyler Sun is a first year SJSU graduate student in the MLIS program and holds a B.S in Mathematics from UC Davis.

Beau Woodson

Beau Woodson is a third year student in SJSU’s MLIS program and would like to work in a public library after graduating. Beau is passionate about public service and working with local communities. In his spare time, Beau likes to create art and write.