design for diversity icon



In 2016, the Digital Scholarship Group at Northeastern University Library was awarded an IMLS National Forums grant to support “Design for Diversity”: a series of public events to explore education and advocacy for more inclusive information systems.

Design for Diversity focuses on the ways in which information systems embody and reinforce cultural norms. How can we design systems that account for diverse cultural materials and ways of knowing?


Through this project we:

  • Developed a prototype teaching and learning toolkit for educators and practitioners in libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage organizations
  • Held two national public forums
    • An Opening Forum to investigate methods for advocacy and education
    • A Closing Forum to review our work on creating a prototype Toolkit in support of such advocacy and education
  • Wrote a white paper (coming soon) reporting on needs in this area and methods for creating change within the field


We hope the Design for Diversity initiative will:

  • bring a greater awareness to our own design and development process
  • imagine more participatory information and design processes
  • support a more inclusive and equitable relationship between cultural heritage practitioners and their community partners

This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [LG-73-16-0126-16]. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.