12 · Survey Results: Executive Summary
gether all of the activities related to diversity into one
strategic plan.
Of these 36 respondents, 13 reported that their
parent institutions were responsible for initiating the
development of the plan. In 11 cases, the parent insti-
tution and the library were jointly responsible. At the
other 12 institutions, the library administration and/
or human resources unit initiated plan development.
In addition, two libraries identified the initiators as
the parent institution affirmative action office/depart-
ment and a system-wide request originating with
central university administration. Other comments
suggest the initiative came from a staff committee
within the library.
Slightly more than a third of the diversity plans
(13 or 37%) are stand-alone documents. Almost an
equal number (12 or 34%) are part of a broader parent
institution document such as a strategic plan, annual
report, or an affirmative action or equal employment
opportunity (EEO) report. Four are part of a library
strategic plan. Based on the comments, a few library
plans are stand-alone but are based on an institution-
wide document.
The components of diversity plans vary among
the responding organizations, but the majority of the
plans contain
Goals and strategies
Mission or values statements
Definition of diversity
Organizational responsibility/accountability
Some diversity plans include a diversity-related
committee charge (34%), a description of diversity
programs (29%), and other elements such as assess-
ment strategies, and policies and procedures (i.e., EEO,
affirmative action) related to search committees.
Clearly, research institutions have been working
to create a more culturally diverse organization, but
apparently few have had a plan that guided their ac-
tivities. Prior to 1990, only two of the 30 responding li-
braries had a diversity plan. Within the ten-year span
1990 to 1999, only four others developed a document.
The rate of development has begun to change, though.
Between 2000 and 2004, six more libraries developed
a plan. Since 2005, seventeen libraries (57%) have
developed a diversity plan six of those within the
last year. The creation of such a plan indicates a strong
commitment to diversity within the organization.
A major factor in the success of a diversity plan
is its implementation. Survey results show that re-
sponsibility for implementation is often shared by
human resources officers and a diversity committee
or a related group (16 responses or 44%). In several
cases, they are joined by a diversity officer, staff de-
velopment officer, or multicultural librarian. At ten
libraries, the human resources officer has primary
responsibility, but works with other administrators
and various library committees. At four others, the
diversity committee takes charge of implementation.
In a few cases, implementation is at the campus level,
such as the vice provost for equal opportunity, presi-
dent’s office, campus human resources, and search
Implementing a diversity plan sets the course for
progress, but may be inadequate without a process
to review its effectiveness and update its contents
as goals and strategies change. Eighty-one percent
of the survey respondents periodically review their
plans, typically on an annual cycle. A few report a
review cycle between two and five years. Some li-
braries indicated that their reviews were on hold and
are currently waiting for more information from the
parent institution.
Creating a diversity plan implies an intention to
distribute it to stakeholders. Survey results indicate
diversity plans are disseminated to library staff and
the university community in a multitude of ways. At
least half of the responding libraries share their plan
through the library Web site and/or include it in a
university document. Twenty-five percent discuss
the library’s vision for diversity during new employee
orientation. Three libraries (8%) incorporate this infor-
mation into the library staff handbook. Other meth-
ods include posting the diversity plan or vision on an
internal staff webpage or wiki. Diversity forums and
discussions are also used to disseminate information.
In contrast, one library only submits their diversity
document to the library administration. Some librar-
ies submit their information as a report to the parent
institution’s EEO or affirmation action policy office
and rely on that office to inform employees through
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