Again this year, one of the most pressing issues is book challenges, both in public and school libraries. Many challenged books are by and about members of the LGBTQ+ community. As part of our mission to make sure libraries are relevant to the community overall and provide resources equally to everyone, fighting these challenges is a high priority for many libraries. Now more than ever, the work libraries do to reach all community members equally is critically crucial. By actively working towards inclusivity, libraries can play a crucial role in fostering empathy, respect, and acceptance within their communities.
Happy Pride Month,
  • June is Immigrant Heritage Month so here are a few opportunities and resources as part of a project to improve outreach to immigrant communities:
    • What are best practices for partnering with immigrant groups?
      Sign up to take part in online interactive design sessions to co-create an evidence-based professional development course on “Improving Library Partnerships with Immigrant Communities.” We welcome you to contribute ideas for developing 3 of 6 lessons on transformative engagement (June 4), compassion fatigue (June 10), and cultural competence amid culture wars (June 20). The sessions are at 6pmEST/3pm PST and will last 75 minutes. Participants receive $25 for their time. Please use this Calendly link to participate.
    • How do I stay abreast of complex immigration policy?
      The LINA project provides monthly policy digests to distill major immigration legislation. It is specifically geared to librarians, archivists, and curators. Here is our June Digest.
    • How do I stay connected with other librarians who specialize in immigrant community outreach?
      Join our Librarians for Immigrants and Refugees listserv that supports library workers who partner with, identify as, or want to enhance their knowledge of immigrant or refugee communities. This exchange is a forum to share wins, exchange tips, or troubleshoot challenges. We focus on libraries of all types–public, academic, school, federal and more. Opt in by emailing  to join the listserv.
    • How can my library commemorate Immigrant Heritage Month?
      ALA and the American Association for School Librarians (AASL) recommend various National Immigrant Heritage Month resources. Also, June 20 marks World Refugee Day. Visit this ALA World Refugee Day site to plan an event. Finally, June is an ideal time to prepare for Welcoming Week, which is observed in libraries across the country every September. The event is organized by the Welcoming America organization. Here is a Celebrating Welcoming Week Guide for Libraries.
  • 2024 DEI Consultant Funding Opportunity: Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race and the IDEA Team encourage libraries to apply for a unique funding opportunity that will support bringing a specialized DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) Consultant to help your team accomplish its desired goals. Apply for funding, up to $1,000, to support DEI consulting for your library. Applications will be accepted quarterly; June 1-30, September 1-30, Dec 1-31, and March 1-31, 2025 Contact Emily Whitmore at and Tracy Herold at  for questions. More information and an application can be found on the IDEA Team website.
  • Public Libraries Feature Article Contest Winners: Public Libraries magazine has announced the winners of the 2024 Feature Article Contest and is thrilled to award $500 to contributors of the following articles: “Making Your Library a Gender-Inclusive Space” (July/August 2023 issue) and “Read Whatever You Want-Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned” (March/April 2023 issue). These articles, chosen for their excellence in content and contribution, are selected by members of the Public Libraries Advisory Committee and exemplify the dedication and innovation within the public library community.
  • Brooklyn Public Library – Library Card Access Study Podcast Aired on April 23 In this episode, PLA talks with Amy Mikel, director of customer experience at the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL). Amy shares the catalyst for the BPL’s Cardholder Signup Practices study—the Books Unbanned initiative—and how it spurred BPL’s curiosity to examine library access. She also shares the study’s objectives and key findings, shedding light on the challenges of ensuring equitable access, particularly for marginalized communities. In addition, Amy discusses actionable recommendations for libraries based on the research, offering valuable insights for enhancing inclusivity and accessibility in library systems nationwide.
  • Resources Shared from Webinar (Google Doc) – Indigenous Education Webinar: Developing and Establishing Indigenous Pedagogy Collections for the Library and Classroom This has a ton of great informational resources for you and your collections!
  • Great Juneteenth Resources: Here’s a quick resource guide from DPI to get to know the holiday, to deepen your knowledge, and to honor the history of Juneteenth.
  • Libby for Every Reader E-Learning Module: Libby for Every Reader covers the many ways that Libby supports readers and users with a range of accessibility needs. Topics covered in the module include:
  • Screen reader support
  • Libby accessibility settings
  • Multilingual interface
  • Dark mode
  • Adjustable playback speed in audiobooks
Continuing Education:
  • Supporting domestic and sexual violence survivors at your library, Thursday, June 6, 2 pm Libraries are in a unique position to offer resources and referrals to those experiencing domestic and sexual violence and stalking. In this webinar, learn how to identify the signs of domestic/sexual violence and stalking, what/when/how to say something to a survivor, and how to provide resources to someone who does not disclose abuse.
  • Cultural Considerations When Working with Native Nations: Friday, June 7th 1:00 pm Join presenters from WiLS for a discussion of cultural considerations to be aware of as a non-Native person working with Native Nations communities. The discussion will center around building respectful and ethical relationships with a spirit of reciprocity. The presenters will share their own non-Native experiences working within Native Nations community spaces as well as guidance on working with historical materials from Indigenous communities.
  • Navigating the Terrain of Change,  Monday June 10, 2:00-3:30 pm Missed the spring workshops?  Here’s an abbreviated, virtual chance to get some of the same excellent content from Dr. Alonzo Kelly! If you attend live, you can also register for one of two follow-up sessions on June 11.
  • Locks at the Library: Increasing Community Access to Safe Storage, June 11th, Noon This webinar will describe the partnership between Anne Arundel County Public Library and the Anne Arundel Department of Health with shared aim of preventing gun violence and explain the process and resources for establishing a gun lock distribution program.
  • The Supportive Library: Helping Patrons Experiencing Homelessness, June 20th, 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Mini Conference: From a librarian’s perspective, when we think of patrons experiencing homelessness, we automatically know and understand that they are an especially vulnerable population. We also know that to work in libraries is to be on the forefront of homelessness. However, while we are working directly with vulnerable patrons, many of us may not know how to help someone who is unhoused or who is experiencing food or other insecurities. We may not understand why they don’t trust us, or why they are striking out angrily toward us. We may not know the mental challenges or trauma they are experiencing or the loneliness and isolation they are feeling. In turn, this can expose our own vulnerabilities. Our special conference chair is Kimberli Buckley, M.A, MLIS, Senior Community Library Manager at Contra Costa County Library, and a lecturer at San Jose State University’s School of Information.
  • Library Advocacy and Storymaking: The Hero’s Journey from Community to Page, UW iSchool, August 5 – September 1, 2024 (4 weeks). This course explores the impact of advocacy stories in a shifting library landscape and how to implement library advocacy through strategies that both uncover and inspire community heroes. Participants will workshop their own short library advocacy story using a storytelling model in which the library user is the central figure in the tale of how they use their library to access what they need to create the community they want.
Diverse Holidays in June:
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month: established to recognize the impact that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on the world. LGBT groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS, and other group gatherings. The last Sunday in June is Gay Pride Day.
June is Immigrant Heritage Month: established in June 2014, gives people across the United States an opportunity to annually explore their own heritage and celebrate the shared diversity that forms the unique story of America. It celebrates immigrants across the United States and their contributions to their local communities and economy.
June is Black Music Appreciation Month: On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter decreed June to be Black Music Month. Since 1979, the United States has set aside the month of June to appreciate the musical contributions of its African-American musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters.
June is National PTSD Awareness Month: established by the US Senate in 2014, is designed to help raise awareness about the many different PTSD treatment options available and how you can make a difference in the lives of veterans and others who have experienced trauma. It is believed that as many as 8 percent of Americans are suffering from PTSD at any given time.
Caribbean American Heritage Month: The month is an opportunity to celebrate the heritage, history, and cultural diversity and a time to explore the traditions Caribbean-Americans carry with them. In 2006, President George W. Bush declared June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month to recognize the significant contributions Caribbean-Americans to the United States throughout history.
June 2: Native American Citizenship Day. It was on this day in 1924 that the Indian Citizenship Act by Congress granted citizenship to all American Indians born in the U.S. The day celebrates the history, heritage, and culture of American Indian tribes across the country.
June 9: Race Unity Day. Also known as Race Amity Day, is observed on the second Sunday in June. The day was started by the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly in the United States in 1957, but it was known as Race Amity Day until 1965. The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of racial harmony and understanding.
June 10: Dragon Boat Festival, commemorates the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet and minister known for his patriotism and contributions to classical poetry.
June 12: Loving Day. An annual celebration that commemorates the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down the remaining anti-miscegenation laws in the United States.
June 12: Shavuot: Shavuot, the feast of weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after the second Passover seder. Although Shavuot began as an ancient grain harvest festival, the holiday has been identified since biblical times with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
June 14: Flag Day in the United States, observed to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.
June 17: Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, The Feast of Sacrifice dates from the historic event when Prophet Abraham was commanded by God, in a form of a dream vision, to sacrifice his son, Ishmail. But while he was in the act of sacrificing his son, God sent the Angel Gabriel with a huge ram. Part of their meat is consumed by the family which offers the animal, while the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy.
June 18: Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in 2005 by the organization Aspies For Freedom (AFF) so that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) could have one day where they could celebrate their neurodiversity and differences.
June 19: Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. This celebration honors the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas and Louisiana finally heard they were free, two months after the end of the Civil War. June 19, therefore, became the day of emancipation for thousands of African-Americans.
June 20: World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
June 20: Litha, or Midsummer is the summer solstice celebrated by the Wiccans and Pagans. It is the longest day of the year, representing the sun’s “annual retreat.”
June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day or First Nations Day, a day that gives recognition to the indigenous populations affected by colonization in Canada.
June 27:  National PTSD Awareness Day. The United States Senate established PTSD Awareness Day in 2010 following then Sen. Kent Conrad’s efforts to designate a day of awareness as a tribute to Army Staff Sgt. Joe Biel of the North Dakota National Guard. Biel suffered from PTSD and took his life in April 2007 after returning to North Dakota following his second tour of duty in the Iraq War. Biel’s birthday, June 27th, was chosen to mark PTSD Awareness Day and honor his memory.
Last Sunday in June: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Day in the United States. It honors the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969.
Sherry Anderson (she/her)
Director – Northern Waters Library Service (NWLS)
Inclusive Services Consultant for NWLS and Wisconsin Valley Library Service

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