SPEC Kit 319: Diversity Plans and Programs · 17
Survey QueStionS and reSponSeS
The SPEC survey on Diversity Plans and Programs was designed by Toni Anaya, Multicultural Studies
Librarian, and Charlene Maxey-Harris, Diversity Librarian, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These results
are based on data submitted by 49 of the 124 ARL member libraries (40%) by the deadline of April 28, 2010.
The survey’s introductory text and questions are reproduced below, followed by the response data and
selected comments from the respondents.
In 1990, ARL published SPEC Kit 165 Cultural Diversity Programming in ARL Libraries and SPEC Kit 167 Minority
Recruitment and Retention in ARL Libraries. Both of these documents provided a wealth of information about library programs
and services that addressed the needs of a diverse user group, minority staff recruitment and retention strategies, and approaches to
managing an ethnically/culturally diverse workforce. While the survey results indicated that progress had been made since the 1960s,
respondents indicated they thought there was much more to do to ensure that academic and research library staff are representative
of all cultural, ethnic, religious, and racial groups, as well as those who have been discriminated against for their gender, sexual
orientation, age, or disability.
Since 1990, several libraries have obtained funding to support strategies, such as post-LIS diversity residencies, to increase the
number of minority librarians in academic and research librarians and promote their advancement within the organization. ARL
also started programs, such as the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce and the Leadership & Career Development Program, to
address the need to recruit minority librarians to the profession and advance them into leadership positions in ARL libraries. During
that time the number of diversity or multicultural groups at the local, state, and national levels also appears to have increased.
The main purpose of this survey is to explore what other progress has been made in ARL member libraries to recruit and retain a
diverse workforce and to identify:
• the existence and content of diversity plan documents in ARL member libraries;
• the strategies they use to increase the number of ethnically/culturally diverse librarians in the profession and in their
• 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 will also gather documentation about ARL member libraries’ diversity plans and programs, and provide another
benchmark for progress towards diversity goals.