Indicators of inclusion

How well the library is the community

In order to effectively remove barriers to inclusion, the CULC/CBUC Social Inclusion Audit asserts that a library will use participatory strategies to uphold and reinforce the principles of access, equity, and thus social inclusion for all.

As a first course of action, social inclusion work requires that a library is open to understanding and engaging with their community, and challenging the various barriers, values, and behaviours that lead to exclusion. This work is reflected in the questions in the audit that focus on the “Indicator of Openness.”

The second level of work required to remove barriers to inclusion includes continued engagement with the community, as well as the development, implementation, and evaluation of systems, programs, policies, and procedures. It also requires the provision of equitable access to services and decision-making opportunities. This work is reflected in the questions in the audit and toolkit that focus on the “Indicator of Intentionality.”

The research that supports the development of the CULC/CBUC Social Inclusion Audit asserts that if the library is effective at addressing the areas of focus in the indicators of openness and intentionality, then it will be better able to demonstrate inclusion through tangible, measurable outcomes.

Social Inclusion Indicator Matrix

The matrix below demonstrates:

  • the connection between the indicators and the criteria for the removal of barriers to inclusion, and
  • the scope and priority of the work required to effectively assess – and ensure – inclusion.

As evidenced by the chart, work that focuses on “openness” cannot immediately lead to “inclusion” without the focus on intentionality.

Social Inclusion Criteria: Indicator
Social inclusion is the manner in which institutions:
are open to understanding and engaging in their communities
  • Openness
  • Intentional
explore, view, and challenge barriers, values, and behaviours
  • Openness
  • Intentional
develop, implement, and evaluate systems, programs, policies, and procedures
  • Intentional
provide equitable access to services and decision making opportunities
  • Intentional
  • Inclusion
demonstrate the level of inclusion through tangible outcomes
  • Inclusion

As inclusion is both a process and an outcome, it is not surprising that an indicator has been named to ensure that the requirements for removing barriers have been met and that these requirements can yield results that can be measured.

As a process, social inclusion refers to the acts associated with the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies and tactics to remove barriers to inclusion.

As an outcome, social inclusion refers to the ability of an organization to demonstrate the level of inclusion through tangible outcomes.

The social inclusion audit contains three audit questions that assess the ability of the organization to translate process into outcomes.