SPEC Kit 319: Diversity Plans and Programs (October 2010)

This SPEC Kit explores what progress has been made in ARL member libraries to recruit and retain a diverse workforce; the strategies they use to increase the number of ethnically/culturally diverse librarians in the profession and in their libraries; the elements of programs that successfully support an inclusive workplace; the people, groups, and/or committees responsible for overseeing the programs; and how libraries are assessing the effectiveness and success of such programs.

The survey results indicate there has been a significant increase in the number of groups and committees formed to address diversity or inclusive workplace goals in the past ten years. Human resource officers share the responsibility of leading these committees and implementing diversity plans with diversity officers, staff development officers, multicultural librarians, and other library staff. Approximately half of the responding libraries have ongoing presentations and/or workshops on issues relevant to promoting an inclusive workplace. Others have had at least one-time presentations or plan to develop programs.

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce continues to be a challenge for libraries. It is evident that research libraries are committed to actively recruit librarians from underrepresented ethnic/racial groups and have employed a variety of strategies to increase the diversity of applicant pools. Measures to evaluate the success of their efforts to recruit and retain an ethnically/culturally diverse workforce are still in development, though.

This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of diversity statements, diversity plans, and descriptions of diversity and recruitment programs.

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SPEC Kit 319: Diversity Plans and Programs (October 2010)