Assessment work is multifaceted and needs both leadership and expertise to be successful. When assessments include matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), you have an even more complex situation. Traditional library assessment practices often exclude DEI elements, or many academic libraries may be unsure about DEI assessments. Yet it’s crucial to consider: If institutions … Continue reading The Value of a DEI Audit
This scenario is an example of both a reference transaction and an access-to-justice issue. Many people do not have easy access to an attorney and will come to the library seeking legal information. Librarians are not authorized to give legal advice, but they can direct patrons to useful organizations and resources. According to Jessica Steinberg, … Continue reading Accessing Justice
Research demonstrates that people of color in libraries benefit from having a mentor with a similar background, but it can be difficult for new librarians to find such a person with years of training. Because of the lack of diversity in librarianship (in 2020, approximately 83% of credentialed librarians were white) and problems retaining librarians … Continue reading Pairing Up
In August 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 1460, requiring all students in the 23-campus California State University system to take a three-unit ethnic studies class—in Native American studies, African American and Black studies, Asian Pacific American studies, or Chicanx and Latinx studies. During the 2021–2022 academic year, thousands of students enrolled in … Continue reading Prioritizing Ethnic Studies
I am a health science librarian at University of Arizona’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus. I am also Akimel O’odham (Pima) from the Gila River Indian Community. From a Native perspective, the needs of the community are greater than the wishes of the individual. Mask mandates are in place on tribal lands, and colleges and universities occupy … Continue reading Fighting Medical Racism
God gave Noah the rainbow sign No more water, the fire next time! (“Mary Don’t You Weep,” Black American spiritual) I will never forget Friday, March 13, 2020, the last day we worked in our building. It was also our admitted-student day, and several attendees had already arrived. Our staff quickly arranged a socially distanced … Continue reading LIS and the Next Crisis
My study aimed to determine whether sampled policies had manifest messages of diversity and the degree of congruence between these policies and ALA’s “Diversity in Collection Development: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights,” adopted in 1982 and last amended in 2019. Given that diversity is one of the core values of librarianship and … Continue reading What Does Diversity Mean?
Libraries have been described as beacons of democracy, inclusion, and equity. As a direct result of the pandemic, we have seen that in striving to fulfill our values and serve our patrons, the very people who make up libraries—library workers—are being neglected. Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people are experiencing higher death rates in this pandemic. … Continue reading Call to Action