3 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Introduction Mark A. Puente, Associate Dean for Organizational Development, Inclusion, and Diversity, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies The spring of 2020 surfaced unprecedented challenges, with a global pandemic and societal unrest initiated by highly publicized police killings of citizens in Minnesota, Kentucky, and elsewhere. Although for many people throughout the US and Canada, the confluence of events has brought a new level of awareness and new vocabulary for such issues as wide disparities in health treatment and outcomes for communities of color, or the concept of systemic racism, these realities and taxonomies have been studied and written about for generations. And although current events and the contemporary political and social climates may be bringing new understanding of areas of sociological inquiry, such as critical race theory, the perennial question from many—even the most well-meaning practitioners from the library, archives, and other cultural heritage and memory sectors—is, “What are the implications for our communities of practice?” In other words, “How are these issues relevant to our profession?” And, “How do these principles play out in the values and mission of libraries, archives, museums, and similar institutions?” The content for this issue of Research Library Issues (RLI) was planned and solicited long before COVID-19 or global protests for racial equity. The topics and themes, however, remain relevant, with perspectives that offer both practical applications of existing and emerging theories and practices, as well as more aspirational reflections. In the first article, two librarians of color at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Teresa Helena Moreno and Jennifer M. Jackson, chronicle a process whereby critical race and feminist theory informed the assessment and development of an undergraduate engagement program that was connected to broader, campus-level, student-success efforts. The authors reimagined how to define student success in the
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