Social Inclusion Audit

What is Social Inclusion?

Social inclusion is the participatory, authentic, and accountable manner in which institutions uphold and reinforce the principles of access, equity, and thus, social inclusion for all.

In particular, social inclusion is the manner in which institutions:

  • are open to understanding and engaging in their communities;
  • explore, view, and challenge barriers, values, and behaviours;
  • develop, implement, and evaluate systems, programs, policies, and procedures;
  • provide equitable access to services and decision making opportunities;
  • demonstrate the level of interculturalism through tangible outcomes.

What are the Social Inclusion Indicators?

Our research into social inclusion has suggested to us that inclusion is best measured when an organization assesses the degree in which it is open to engage with the community in a meaningful way and intentional about removing barriers to inclusion.

As such, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada (CBUC) social inclusion audit includes indicators that assess openness, intentionality, and inclusion.

  1. Indicator of Openness – How well the library knows the community
    The degree in which an organization is “open” can be assessed by understanding how well the library knows their community. A library is open when they understands the community they serve and their needs.
    – The social inclusion audit questions 1 and 2 relate to this indicator.
  2. Indicator of Intentionality – How well the library reinforces the principles of social inclusion
    The degree in which an organization is intentional about removing the barriers to inclusion is also dependent upon how the library reinforces the principles of social inclusion in the short- and long-term. Removing barriers to inclusion is a long-term process that requires commitment and ongoing attention.
    – The social inclusion audit questions 3 to 9 relate to this indicator.
  3. Indicator of Inclusion – How well the library is the community
    The degree in which the library is open and intentional about the work of social inclusion will determine the degree in which it successfully removes barriers to inclusion. A library is inclusive when it collaborates with the community and when the community is reflective in the strategies, operations, human resources, programming, and collections.
    – The social inclusion audit questions 10 to 12 relate to this indicator.

Who Should Use this Tool?

Members of a library’s working committee on social inclusion should likely complete the audit, or provide assistance to a small group of library staff members. The community advisory committee should not participate in the completion of the audit itself. Please share the results of the audit tool with the community advisory committee to receive their input and feedback on the ratings. This will help you learn more about the library’s progress in removing barriers to inclusion.

What Are the Benefits of Using this Tool?

The social inclusion audit can be used to track an organization’s status and progress on the work. The toolkit will be used in conjunction with the audit tool to raise awareness of the ways in which an organization can actively work to remove barriers to inclusion.

How do I Use It?

Step Action
1 Review the social inclusion audit questions and outcome statements, the scoring legend, score tally, and score interpretation grid provided in this package.
2 Assess who is the best person or group of people to complete this audit.
3 Each of the social inclusion audit questions are phrased as an outcome statement. Read each outcome statement and provide a score based on the legend found on the following page. Please note that you will score the question two times, one to assess the current status and a second time to assess the progress.
4 Add up each of the scores on each page for both the “status” and “progress” questions.
5 Complete the tally page by including the scores and calculating the total for each indicator and the grand total social inclusion score.
6 Use the chart provided to interpret your score
7 Please enter the audit results after you receive the instructions on how to complete the audit using the new online survey tool.

Scoring Legends

Scoring “Status” Questions
Scoring Legend for Status Questions Score
Not in place / not started / Organization does not meet requirements 0
Organization meets minimal requirements 1
Organization meets partial requirements 2
Organization meets substantial requirements 3
Organization meets all or most requirements 4


Scoring “Progress” Questions
Scoring Legend for Progress Questions Score
Not in place / not started / absent / stopped 0
Declining 1
Improving 2
Stable performance 3
Exceptional gains 4


Audit Tool: Indicators of openness

Questions – Based on Outcome Statements
Status Score Progress Score
1. The library, in consultation with the community1, has assessed the demographic profile2 of the community; it understands the needs of the community/cultural group(s)3, and understands gaps3 in programs/services and collections for these community/cultural group(s).
2.The library has assessed full-time1, part-time2, and volunteer3 diversity and has developed4, implemented5, and evaluated6 strategies to increase diversity.
Status Score (Questions 1 & 2) /8
Progress Score (Questions 1 – 4) /8
Indicator of Openness – Status + Progress = /16


Audit Tool: Indicators of intentionality
Question – Based on Outcome Statements
Status Score Progress Score
3.Removing barriers to inclusion is made explicit in the library’s strategic plan1, goals2, policies3, planning documents4 and are articulated in the mission/vision statement5.
4. The library has an active joint team of managers and non-managers1 that are dedicated to assessing and addressing barriers to inclusion; and has incorporated2 removing barriers to inclusion into policy and service planning structures within the organization.
5. The internal team has developed1 and is currently using a group2 with majority representation3 from the targeted community to assist with removing barriers4 to inclusion by informing and guiding this work.
6. A plan of action1 has been developed that includes:

  • an analysis of community needs2 and gaps3 in service
  • results of the annual social inclusion audit4
  • targeted strategies for governance5, HR6, training/learning7, communication/outreach8, programs/services9, collections development10, implementation, and evaluation11.
7. The library has regular training and learning initiatives1 and discussions with the staff team(s)2 and external stakeholders3 on methods to remove barriers to inclusion for the community and to increase the degree of cultural competency4 and inclusionary practices internally5.
8. With community input and participation1 the library has developed2 and implemented3 various targeted community outreach and communications plans4 to introduce and promote5 the library and it services to the community/groups.
9. The library has established financial resources within this year’s fiscal budget to implement the action plan – in particular, the library has set budget for training/learning1, communications/outreach2, programs/services3, and collections development4.
Status Score (Questions 3-9) /28
Progress Score (Questions 3-9) /28
Indicator of Intentionality 35/56


Audit Tool: Indicators of inclusion
Questions – Based on Outcome Statements
Status Score Progress Score
10. The implementation of strategies to remove barriers to opportunity and inclusion have resulted in increased diversity in full-time1, part-time2, and volunteer3 positions (including board of trustees).
11. The library has developed and implemented a plan of action to remove barriers to inclusion that has resulted in an increase in: library cards issued1, library use2, program attendance3, numbers of programs offered4, additional or expanded collections5, and room bookings6.
12. The library has developed and implemented a plan of action to remove barriers to inclusion that has resulted in an increase in: collaborative partnerships with community groups to develop programs/services1, collaborative partnerships with community groups to deliver programs/services2, and a more robust consultation process with community members and groups who do not use or seldom use the library3.
Status Score (Questions 10-12) /12
Progress Score (Questions 10-12) /12
Indicator of Inclusion – Status + Progress = /24

Tally Page

Audit Tool: Tally of Indicators
Social Audit Questions Status Score Progress Score Indicator Score
Indicators of Openness /8 /8 /16 = _%
Indicators of Intentionality /28 /28 /56 = _%
Indicators of Inclusion /12 /12 /24 = _%
Status Scores Sub-total /48 0
Progress Scores Sub-total /48 /96 = _%
Status + Progress Scores = Total
_____ + _____ = ______
   48    +    48          96

Score Interpretation

Audit Tool: Indicator score interpretation
Indicator Your Score
Openness /16
Intentionality /56
Inclusion /24
TOTAL /96 = _%
Audit Tool: Overall Score Interpretation
Status and Progress Scores Interpretation and Recommendations Your Score
Please check mark the appropriate cell
0 – 26 Be Open to Change
27 – 48 Become Intentional
49 – 70 Refine Your Work
71 – 96 Mentor Others