Inclusion, Diversity and Access
The Library is constantly adapting to meet the evolving needs of the community. We believe that access to information and stories builds knowledge, strengthens community, and inspires our future. Our vision is to be a library for all in a changing world. Inclusion, diversity and access are integral to achieving this goal.
We want more Victorians to engage with the Library, especially Victorians who may face physical, geographic, economic or social barriers. The Library has set a goal to grow three target audiences by 100 per cent over the next four years. Target audiences include First Nations communities, and Victorians in regional and remote areas. Our other priority audience group will be determined in the first year of this strategy, based on an assessment of greatest need as the Victorian community recovers from COVID-19.
The Library has established an Inclusion, Diversity and Access Portfolio to support the achievement of this goal through initiatives and actions linked to the strategic pillars in the Library’s Strategic Plan: Inclusion and reach, Empowering through knowledge, A collection for the community and A library for the future.
The Portfolio will:
- Champion and ensure the delivery of inclusion, diversity and access action plans
- Drive audience and community research to identify the third of three target audiences for the Library
- Identify and evaluate current barriers for audiences, including disability, LOTE and others
- Drive delivery of agreed priorities, ensuring appropriate accountability
- Champion diversity and inclusion
- Provide avenues for wide staff participation
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
- socio-economic background
- level of education
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 approach to Inclusion, Diversity and Access draws on global, national and state policy priorities and objectives.
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, and promote social inclusion and changes in cultural attitudes and practices.
Disability Action Plan 2021
The Library's Disability Action Plan 2021 addresses the requirements outlined in Victoria’s Disability Act. Read the plan.