Equity and inclusion

The library centers the voices of the most impacted by racism and systems of oppression. We recognize and honor their strength, wisdom and knowledge. The library’s mission is to empower diverse communities to learn and create.

Members of the BCLA team standing behind a table decorated for Kwanzaa. english

Black Cultural Library Advocates

The Black Cultural Library Advocates (BCLA) are staff who focus on strengthening the library’s connection to the Black community. BCLA team members are committed to creating a safe space and highlighting Black culture through displays and programming. Currently, 15 libraries have BCLA team members.

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Indigenous Team

The Indigenous Team seeks to engage the community with multi-generational programs and access to resources. They also create displays that honor elders, youth, storytelling, tradition and activism. The team includes members representing tribes from different parts of the world.

Multnomah County is the ninth largest Indigenous population in the United States. It is located on the land of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and more tribes.

Two performers wearing headbands with large feathers leading Día de los Ninos cultural celebration at Gresham Library.

Expanded services in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese

The library is committed to helping immigrant and refugee communities succeed in the United States. Our knowledgeable library staff has language and cultural expertise in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese. Patrons can also find materials, services and programs in these languages.

Smiling young girl wearing headphones and using a mouse to control a personal computer at a library.

Digital equity

Everyone should be able to engage in this digital society. To make that happen, the library works with a community coalition called the Digital Inclusion Network. With their help, the library makes high-speed internet available to all and connects people with devices and technology training. More people can get up to speed, literally.

Interested in working for the library?

See open positions