58 Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
The library’s role in providing a safe and welcoming space for our diverse campus community is the
topic of staff-wide dialogue via in-person meetings, sharing staff-wide email information about what
other libraries are doing, and the emergence of a staff Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
The university has had a diversity and inclusion counsel for several years, and the libraries have
partnered with them to provide materials that are of interest and assistance to their efforts. For
example, we have added to our collections any books they recommend. We also have strong
partnerships with our student government and other student organizations such as the Student
Disabilities Resource Center.
The university is strongly committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. The
university has robust programs and staffing to support these principles, and the Libraries align with
larger institutional goals and activities.
There are designated campus offices that take the lead for ensuring a diverse and inclusive workplace.
The library supports these initiatives and we are guided by their policies and procedures.
There are faculty who have been working with diversity initiatives and research for several years.
The Libraries have supported faculty in development programs. The Center for Research in Digital
Humanities (CRDH) has been supportive in the development of diversity and inclusion issues within
the digital humanities field.
We are striving to do more. We have a strong and widespread interest in these issues, from the
administration to the front line staff.
We found that many of our problems were not just isolated to underrepresented minorities. We had
a bigger issue of leadership and management understanding what leadership means and how they
contribute to the diversity of the libraries. We are trying to address that with a change in emphasis for
programs that enhance leadership skills as well as understanding of diverse issues. Another challenge
is what we call the ghosts in the library—those norms, habits, and ways of communicating that have
persisted for decades. We are trying to move beyond those ghosts and find different ways of interacting
with each other. It’s slow progress.
We have been working with campus to change some of our gendered restrooms into gender-neutral
restrooms. We also have a unique program that started in 2006 called Information Specialist
Internship Program (ISIP). The program is aimed at providing an experiential learning opportunity
to second and third-year undergraduates. This is a paid opportunity that includes mentoring and work
experience in key aspects of the information specialist profession. This is a two-year program where
interns spend time in different areas of expertise including public services, collection management and
technical services, special libraries, and information technology. About 40% of our graduates have gone
on to library school.
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