Equity and inclusion

“I want to help start conversations. I want everyone to walk into a library and think ‘this is a place for me."— Elleona Budd, Black Cultural Library Advocate library assistant

Black Cultural Library Advocates team
At the library, we know that racial inequities and systems of oppression exist. Through ongoing reflection and action, we work to center the voices of those most impacted. We take an intersectional approach.

Black Cultural Library Advocates

This team of library staff advocates for Black communities. They create culturally relevant programs and connect Black patrons with the library.

  • Number of advocate positions*: ↑ 383% in five years
  • Programs in 2018: 122
  • People who attended: 1,624

We Speak Your Language

Dia de los Ninos cultural celebration at Gresham Library
This library effort helps immigrant and refugee communities succeed in the United States. We hire staff with cultural expertise who can help people in their native language. We provide materials and services in those languages. 

  • Number of cultural expert positions*:  ↑ 42% in five years 
  • Languages: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese and Somali
  • Programs in 2018: 2,727
  • Patrons who attended: 45,550

* equivalent to full-time

Digital equity

Child using a computer with headphones
We want everyone to be able to engage in this digital society. To make that happen, we’ve developed a plan. We lead a community coalition called the Digital Inclusion Network. With their help, we can get more residents up to speed, literally. We can make high-speed internet available to all. We can also connect people with devices and technology training.  

  • More than 10 percent of homes in Multnomah County don't have internet. Often, that is due to cost. In some areas of the county, it's as many as half.
  • People of color and women are underrepresented in the tech industry.
  • Oregon’s largest provider of free internet: Multnomah County Library
  • Computer and wifi sessions per year: 2.5 million

Annual equity and inclusion reports


Interested in working for the library?

See open positions