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Diversity and social inclusion action plan 2017–20

Our Diversity and social inclusion action plan 2017–20 sets a course for the Library in our work to increase participation and inclusion across all sectors of the community.

It provides background information about diversity, social inclusion and State Library Victoria, and lists the specific actions the Library is taking to improve our services for five key groups.

Our approach to diversity and social inclusion is underpinned by our vision to be a library for all in a changing world, and by our goal to ensure there are no barriers for anyone wanting to access the Library's resources and services.

Read the plan

You can download the Diversity and social inclusion action plan 2017–2020 in PDF format under the 'Download' heading at the bottom of this page.

If you would like to be mailed a paper copy of the plan, please email our Communications and Marketing team at:

What is diversity and social inclusion?

Diversity is fundamental to human society – each individual’s identity comprises a unique blend of characteristics, such as:

  • age and generation
  • cultural and linguistic background
  • intellectual and physical ability
  • gender
  • socio-economic background
  • level of education
  • faith.

Diversity is recognised as ‘a precious community asset … that supports people to thrive and respond better to change in a complex, unpredictable world’ (State of Victoria, Strategic framework to strengthen Victoria's social cohesion and the resilience of its communities, 2015). But it is also closely linked to the discrimination, disadvantage and social exclusion of vulnerable groups.

A socially inclusive worldview places the responsibility on mainstream society to ensure equal access to participation in society for those vulnerable groups, so all members of society have equal opportunity.

The policy and legislative context

The Library’s Diversity and social inclusion action plan 2017–20 draws on global, national and state policy priorities and objectives, which are listed in full in Appendix 1 in the plan.

The plan also draws on the Victorian Government’s Strategic framework to strengthen social cohesion and the resilience of its communities. This framework is informed by the five-domain social inclusion model developed by the Scanlon Foundation and Monash University:

  • belonging – shared values, identification and trust
  • social justice and equity – equality of opportunity and trust in institutions
  • participation – voluntary work, political and co-operative involvement
  • acceptance and rejection, legitimacy – experience of discrimination, attitudes towards minorities and newcomers
  • worth – life satisfaction and happiness, future expectations.

Under Victoria’s Disability Act 2006, government agencies such as the Library are required to lodge and implement a Disability action plan outlining initiatives to break down barriers to employment, promote social inclusion and changes in cultural attitudes and practices. The Library’s Diversity and social inclusion action plan 2017–20 is intended to replace our previous Disability action plan, and it will continue to address the requirements outlined in Victoria’s Disability Act.

The Diversity and social inclusion action plan aligns with the Library’s four strategic goals:

  • People at the heart.
  • No barriers.
  • Open and inviting.
  • A library for the future.

The plan

The Library’s inaugural Diversity and social inclusion action plan 2017–20 builds on our fundamental commitment to equitable access to information, and draws on our experiences and knowledge of delivering inclusive services to a community diverse in age, culture and ability. It outlines our approach to removing barriers to access, further opening up the opportunities available at the Library to our visitors.


The plan is informed by community surveys, workshops and interviews, and ongoing audience research related to the Library’s strategy review and the Vision 2020 redevelopment. The Library welcomes, and will continue to pursue, opportunities to hear and respond to the needs of our community.

The plan is concerned with the Library’s priority audiences as identified in the 2016 Strategic plan:

  • Young learners
  • People with a disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities
  • Victorians living in remote or regional areas.


The initiatives address:

  • the built environment – notably the transformation of physical spaces under the Vision 2020 redevelopment
  • communications
  • service design and delivery
  • workforce and employment practices
  • community engagement.

These initiatives are outlined in Appendix 3 of the plan.


Progress will be monitored by the responsible senior managers, and outcomes and achievements will be published in the Library Board of Victoria’s annual report. The plan is intended to be a living document and will be subject to annual review and renewal so it continues to reflect the changing service needs of our diverse community.