TMC7 Bunker

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Elementary Library Learning Commons

by Beverley Bunker

This paper explores the question “How might the teacher-librarian support social justice in the elementary library learning commons?” The author reflects on her journey with the question, citing background resources and striving to develop SLLC spaces that are “mindful of the past, grounded in the present, and looking toward the future”. She recommends 12 important actions to be taken and provides examples of co-taught projects to view. Includes examination of collection.

Beverley Bunker (she/her) is a new full-time Teacher Librarian in the Surrey School District, BC. She has a decade of classroom experience and has acted as a Pro-D facilitator on a variety of topics at the local, provincial, and national levels. For 3 years, Beverley was seconded as a Faculty Advisor to work with pre-service teachers at UBC and loved the work. Currently, she is enjoying the flexibility and creativity that the role of TL brings to her professional life. She is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as instructional leadership, inquiry, and place-based learning. If she’s not reading with a cup of tea, you will probably find her playing with her toddler or outside in the forest.

Read the paper.


  1. Love your TO-DO list -- a dozen in all!

  2. Beverley, I think we should all be grateful that you have landed in teacher-librarianship! You inquiry question is so important - "How might the teacher-librarian support social justice in the elementary library learning commons?" I totally agree that lack of confidence is a factor. Your first action item - learn - is so important. I am reminded of a project that Joel Krentz led in his elementary library in Toronto some years ago around Treaty Week. Glenn Turner wrote about it in CSL Journal: Joel led a two-year project at his school to make Indigenous teachings part of his school’s culture. From conversations with Joel, I know that a great deal of his work was in providing not only professional development for the staff, but being a learning coach and co-learner with them as they explored their own insecurities.

    By the way, LOVE your weeding project. (I love weeding.). Everyone else, have a look at the weeding guidelines in CSL's Collection Diversity Toolkit:

    1. Thank you, Anita, I do believe it's an important question. Genuine learning is absolutely the first step and one that is often overlooked. I think many educators (including TLs) would like to be "told" what to do because it can feel easier and safer than digging in and making mistakes. However, it's these mistakes and the process of reckoning with our own biases and the role we play in systemic racism - and other forms of discrimination - that leads to real change. I appreciate the link you shared; having a theme such as treaties sounds meaningful. In the land that settlers now call BC, we are mostly on un-ceded land, but this experience reminds me how fortunate we are in our district to have several amazing Indigenous Helping Teachers and support workers. Our school will be hosting a First Peoples' in Residence week starting on Monday, so it's a good reminder that these events can have a lasting impact on a school community.

      I also love weeding - I'm glad I'm not alone! I think I've only realized in recent months the role that it can play in social justice work, making it all that more important.

  3. Beverley -- you've adopted a new theme -- how having time to reflect was an essential part of the catalyst for this work. I too have felt renewed passion for the most marginalized students in our system. I was wondering if you managed to develop any sort of cataloguing tag to help you with your audit of diversities? I try to actively include the visible and non-visible contexts on this diversity iceberg:


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