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GELS: Growing Equitable Library Services

Resources related to the GELS series

GELS and CT Libraries


According to the Project Ready Glossary, equity is "a state in which everyone gets what they need to succeed. When we focus on equity, our ultimate goal is justice."

It is vital that the libraries that want to become more equitable community hubs educate themselves and their institutions on the experience and needs of various community groups, both those that currently utilize library services, and those that do not yet utilize these services. 

The GELS program has worked to bring in training and information sessions on various communities such as:

  • People experiencing homelessness
  • People with disabilities
  • People who have experienced trauma
  • People who have immigrated to the United States
  • People who are racial and/or ethnic minorities

In addition to providing targeted workshop on various marginalized or invisible community groups GELS also has included workshops on:

  • Community Asset Mapping
  • DataHaven Town Equity Reports
  • Building Inclusive Library Collections

While the various workshops facilitated by DLD could easily have been offered as standard individual sessions, they were specifically chosen and curated to be part of the GELS series because these workshops have been identified as essential information for all library institutions that want to foster and be equitable spaces. 

Libraries that identify themselves as equitable institutions have strong relationships with various community leaders and stakeholders, both through traditional organizations such as the local Boys and Girls club, as well as nontraditional organizations such as churches that cater to marginalized ethnic groups. Equitable institutions know who to call and how to respond to an adult, teen, or family in crisis and where to direct patrons looking for immigration or naturalization information. Programs and services offered by equitable institutions are accessible to all people be they disabled, neurodivergent, or able bodied.

Libraries are staffed by people who may not be able to do all things all the time, yet they can be educated, involved, engaged, and informed to best fulfill the needs of our ever-changing society. 


This project is funded by the State of Connecticut and the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library. 

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