Implementing Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Handbook for Academic Libraries

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

“[T]he diversity of perspectives presented within this publication will build on the reader’s existing knowledge to bring nuances and alternative approaches to these enduring, seemingly intractable challenges within the LIS profession and within society.”
from the Foreword by Mark A. Puente
Academic library workers often make use of systemic, bureaucratic, political, collegial, and symbolic dimensions of organizational behavior to achieve their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, but many are also doing the crucial work of pushing back at the structures surrounding them in ways small and large.
Implementing Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion captures emerging practices that academic libraries and librarians can use to create more equitable and representative institutions. 19 chapters are divided into 6 sections:

  • Recruitment, Retention and Promotion
  • Professional Development
  • Leveraging Collegial Networks
  • Reinforcing the Message
  • Organizational Change
  • Assessment

Chapters cover topics including active diversity recruitment strategies; inclusive hiring; gendered ageism; librarians with disabilities; diversity and inclusion with student workers; residencies and retention; creating and implementing a diversity strategic plan; cultural competency training; libraries’ responses to Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action; and accountability and assessment. Authors provide practical guiding principles, effective practices, and sample programs and training. 
Implementing Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion explores how academic libraries have leveraged and deployed their institutions’ resources to effect DEI improvements while working toward implementing systemic solutions. It provides means and inspiration for continuing to try to hire, retain, and promote the change we want to see in the world regardless of existing structures and systems, and ways to improve those structures and systems for the future.

Mark A. Puente
Section I: Recruitment, Retention and Promotion
Chapter 1. Transitioning from Passive to Active Diversity Recruitment Strategies: A Case Study
Amy Tureen
Chapter 2. A Journey to Hiring with Heart: A Case Study on Implementing Leading Practices in Inclusive Hiring
Annie Bélanger, Sarah Beaubien, Scott Ayotte, and Abigail Smathers
Chapter 3. Gendered Ageism as a Barrier to Tenure-Track Librarianship
Sally Stieglitz
Chapter 4. Desperately Seeking Librarians with a Disability
Kenneth D. Litwak
Chapter 5. Mentoring and Diversity
Barbara Lewis, Matt Torrence, Tomaro Taylor, and Meghan Cook
Chapter 6. Bare Witness: Library Leaders of Color Tell Their Stories of Advancing into Senior Leadership Positions
Kimberley Bugg
Section II: Professional Development
Chapter 7. Your Workforce Is More Than You Think: Looking at Diversity and Inclusion with Student Workers
Melanie Bopp
Chapter 8. Introducing Cultural Competency in Libraries: A Case Study in Grassroots Professional Development
Katherine Kapsidelis and Elizabeth Galoozis
Chapter 9. Embracing a Culture of Humility, Diversity, and Inclusion: A Case Study of an Academic Library’s Radical Compassion Programming
Latanya N. Jenkins and Elizabeth L. Sweet
Chapter 10. Cultural Intelligence in Academic Libraries
Michele A. L. Villagran
Section III: Leveraging Collegial Networks
Chapter 11. Braving Our Blind Spots: Using a Virtual Book Discussion Group to Continue Conversations on Implicit Bias in Libraries
Shannon Jones, Kelsa Bartley, Melissa DeSantis, Ryan Harris, Don Jason, and Dede Rios
Chapter 12
Bridging the Gap between Residencies and Retention: A Case Study of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Diversity Resident Librarian Program and the Inception of the Library Diversity Institute
LaTesha Velez
Section IV: Reinforcing the Message
Chapter 13. Critical Analysis of ARL Member Institutions’ Diversity Statements
V. Dozier, Sandra Enimil, and Adebola Fabiku
Section V: Organizational Change
Chapter 14. The Making of Emory Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: A Case Study
Saira Raza, Melissa Hackman, Hannah Rutledge, Jina DuVernay, Nik Dragovic, and Erica Bruchko
Chapter 15. Framework for Change: Utilizing a University-wide Diversity Strategic Planning Process for an Academic Library
Renna Redd, Alydia Sims, and Tara Weekes
Chapter 16. An Introductory Indigenous Cultural Competency Training Program in the Academic Environment
Camille Callison and Lyle Ford
Chapter 17. Journeying to Accountability: Labor and Responses of Settler Knowledge Institutions to Indigenous Communities and Issues
Oy Lein “Jace” Harrison, Jamie Lee Morin, Desmond Wong, and May Chan
Section VI: Assessment
Chapter 18. Assessing DEI Efforts in Academic Libraries: More Than a Body Count
Kawanna Bright
CHAPTER 19. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plans and Programs in ARL Libraries
Toni Anaya and Charlene Maxey Harris
Author Biographies

Corliss Lee

Corliss Lee (she/her/hers) is the American cultures librarian at the UC Berkeley Library as well as the liaison to the American studies, college writing, and ethnic studies departments and a member of the Instruction Services division. Her interests include diversity, equity, and inclusion in libraries; disinformation literacy; and empowering undergraduates through information literacy. She is a two-time graduate of UC Berkeley (BA, English, and MLIS). Corliss was awarded the Distinguished Librarian Award by the Librarians Association of the University of California, Berkeley, in 2020.

Brian Lym

Brian Lym has been an academic library leader in New York and California. He has served as dean of libraries and chief librarian at Hunter College, dean of university libraries at Adelphi University, and director of library services at Napa Valley College. His career began as a student library employee at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned his MLIS, MS (wildland resource science), and BA (humanities) degrees. Having retired from academic librarianship, Brian is supporting and advancing inclusivity, equity, and diversity efforts in the Sonoma County Library system where he serves as an adult services librarian.

Tatiana Bryant

Tatiana Bryant (she/her/hers) is the research librarian for digital humanities, history, and African American studies at University of California Irvine Libraries. She holds an MPA in international public and nonprofit administration, management, and policy from New York University, an MSLIS from Pratt Institute, and a BA in history from Hampton University. She has been a SPARC/OpenCon Berlin fellow and a Digital Native American and Indigenous Studies Fellow through the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities Institute. She teaches courses on Black digital humanities, and her research includes studies on gender identity and performance in library work as well as perceptions of open access publishing among faculty who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.

Jonathan Cain

Jonathan Cain (he/him/his) is the associate university librarian for research and learning at Columbia University. He is passionate about making libraries and information centers more collaborative, equitable, and inclusive for learners and knowledge workers. He holds an MSLIS from Pratt Institute, an MA in Africana studies from New York University, and a BS in anthropology from the College of Charleston. He is a 2020–2021 ARL Leadership and Career Development Program Fellow. Cain believes libraries play a prominent role in higher education and society. His research centers on understanding and interrogating the inequity in data and technology cultures and the role of libraries as organizations for the public good, privacy in education, and social justice and equity.

Kenneth Schlesinger

Kenneth Schlesinger has served as chief librarian at Lehman College since 2007. Previously he was director of media services at LaGuardia Community College and worked in the archival collections of Thirteen/WNET public television and Time Inc. He was board president of Independent Media Arts Preservation and served as president of the Theatre Library Association. In 2018, the Theatre Library Association honored him with the Louis Rachow Performing Arts Librarianship Distinguished Service Award. He received two Fulbright Senior Specialist Grants to contribute to international library projects: international copyright and strategic planning in Vietnam in 2005, and designing a library and archival strategic plan for the Steve Biko Centre in South Africa in 2011. Mr. Schlesinger has an MLS from Pratt Institute’s School of Information, an MFA in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism from Yale School of Drama, and a BA in dramatic art from University of California, Berkeley.