SPEC Kit 319: Diversity Plans and Programs · 13
presentations, internal brochures and memorandums,
and posters.
Diversity Librarian
Twenty years after the creation of positions focused on
fostering diversity in libraries, one would expect the
number of these types of positions to have increased.
In 1990, SPEC Kit 165 included six position descrip-
tions that contained diversity-related duties and ex-
pectations. Responses to the current survey show only
a slight increase: three multicultural librarians and
seven diversity officers were reported. These results
are supported by Lori Mestre’s recent research into
positions that primarily focus on diversity and multi-
cultural issues in academic libraries. She found there
were “only 14 out of 107 ARL libraries in the US” that
had a full-time dedicated diversity librarian, even
when she expanded her search for job titles to include
“diversity librarians, multicultural librarians, outreach
librarian for multicultural services, Ethnic Studies
librarian, and similar titles.” (Mestre, 2010, p. xiv)
Diversity Committees
While there are few “diversity librarians,” the survey
results indicate that more than half of the responding
libraries have a diversity-related committee. These
committees provide library staff an opportunity to
work towards creating a more inclusive workplace.
Human resources officers often lead or are at least an
ex-officio member of the committee. At the majority
of libraries, the committee and HR officer share the
responsibility for developing and implementing the
diversity plan, and planning and delivering ongo-
ing programs to promote an inclusive work environ-
ment. It became apparent when reviewing the docu-
ments submitted by survey respondents that in the 21st
century the role of diversity committees has moved
beyond these original roles to advising library and
university administration on diversity issues, creat-
ing recruitment plans, and assisting with training of
search committees.
Programs to Promote an Inclusive Workplace
Approximately half of the responding libraries have
ongoing presentations and/or workshops on issues
relevant to promoting an inclusive workplace. Another
seven (14%) have had at least one-time presentations
and eight plan to develop programs. Ten others (20%)
have not developed any workshops or programming,
yet. The number of programs ranges from 1 to 20 a
year with an average of four per year. In some cases,
library programs are open to the campus community.
Topics addressed during these programs and/or
workshops include race and ethnicity (78%), physical
disabilities (66%), sexual orientation (53%), language
barriers (50%), and gender and/or age discrimination
(47%). Other topics that have been addressed either
within the library or through the university system
are cross- or inter-cultural communication, cultural
competencies, religion, affirmative action or equal
opportunity, and social economics issues. Examples
of large events that libraries have initiated include a
sign language forum and an international party.
In addition to HR officers and diversity commit-
tees, staff development officers, diversity officers,
and multicultural librarians are also involved with
planning and delivering programs for library staff.
Libraries also utilize the resources of the parent in-
stitution, taking advantage of programs that are open
to all staff at the institution. Individuals and depart-
ments involved in planning and delivering diversity
programming at the campus level include administra-
tors, LGBTA centers, offices of disability services, and
social justice programs.
Diversity Web Sites
Library Web sites are the face of the organization.
This is the entryway for individuals to see what is
important to the organization. It was refreshing to
see the number of Web sites submitted for the survey
that have information about diversity values and ini-
tiatives. A review of several sites revealed a wealth of
information about diversity-related committees, goals
and objectives, diversity plans, and resources that sup-
port multicultural research.
Recruitment Strategies
In 1990, SPEC Kit 167 asked recruitment questions
about hiring activities, advertising available posi-
tions, and barriers to recruitment. At that time, active
recruitment and rewriting job descriptions “so that
minority applicants will not be discouraged” were
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