"The Libraries strive to offer inclusive and accessible physical and virtual spaces. We aim to be an equitable and inclusive organization, where all staff are supported, heard and encouraged to share ideas, and where all library users feel welcome, safe and respected as they follow their own academic and creative pursuits. As Libraries’ administrators and staff, we have the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that our programming, services, collections, spaces, staffing, policies, practices and communications align with these ambitions." (Read full statement here.)
David Seaman, Ph.D, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, Syracuse University Libraries
August 22, 2022
"The Cultural Proficiencies for Racial Equity Framework is a tool both theoretical and practical in its orientation, as a guide for developing personal, organizational, institutional, and systems-level knowledge and understanding of the nature of racism and its many manifestations. Racism results in differential, inequitable, and devastating impacts on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) in the library and information science (LIS) sector, the communities libraries serve, and beyond. The framework is not intended to be liberatory practice in itself—an instrument or agent that will abolish racial inequity or a step-by-step guide—but, rather, to provide the grounding needed to effect change in thinking, behavior, and practice that will lead to better outcomes for racialized and minoritized populations."
Statement from ALA President Patricia "Patty" M. Wong, July 8, 2021
June 26, 2020
The American Library Association (ALA) accepts and acknowledges its role in upholding unjust systems of racism and discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) within the Association and the profession.
We recognize that the founding of our Association was not built on inclusion and equity but instead was built on systemic racism and discrimination in many forms. We also recognize the hurt and harm done to BIPOC library workers and communities due to these racist structures.
We commit to our core values, particularly equity, diversity, and inclusion, and will demonstrate this commitment by reassessing and reevaluating our role in continuing to uphold unjust, harmful systems throughout the Association and the profession. We will include ALA members, ALA staff, and the profession in our movement forward, and we are developing a plan toward becoming the inclusive association we aspire to be. Going forward we commit to the following:
• to engage in dialogue with our members to inform our path forward,
• to continue assessing our governance structure, such as through the Forward Together recommendations, and
• to address the disparities in access to information for BIPOC.
We take responsibility for our past and pledge to build a more equitable association and library community for future generations of library workers and supporters.
In 2017 the DIT surveyed all SU Libraries staff, including student workers, with a brief anonymous survey to help inform our planning process and future initiatives. The results are summarized below.
Amanda DuBose (she/they), Music and Performing Arts Librarian (Co-Chair)
Meara Mosny (she/her), Digital and Communications Specialist (Co-Chair)
Sarah Duncan (she/her), Preservation Supervisor
Lisa Kuerbis (she/her), Marketing Coordinator, Syracuse University Press
Steph McReynolds (she/her), Librarian for Business, Management, and Entrepreneurship
For any questions or suggestions, please contact the Diversity and Inclusion Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some interesting examples from other libraries.
This PDF contains links to committees, groups, task forces and blogs relating to diversity and inclusion in librarianship from:
American Library Association (ALA) ,
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL),
Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC),
Association of Specialized, Government, and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA),
Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)/CORE,
Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA),
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)
.Note that as of July 2020, most of the links are not https-compliant.
This PDF contains links to committees and groups relating to diversity and inclusion in librarianship from:
Ongoing: DIT involvement in recruitment and hiring including meeting with search committees
Ongoing: SU Libraries/DIT support of #NotAgainSU student activism, including providing use of space, locations for signs and posters, archiving information, and support of individual students
February 2023: DIT Brown Bag discussion on "Why I Stay: The DEI Perspective" webinar
December 2022: DIT Brown Bag discussion on CLRC "Starting From Where You Are - Becoming Anti0Isms" webinar
July 2022: DIT welcomed three new members to the team
May 2022: DIT met with Syracuse University Libraries Associate Deans to advocate that DIT consultations with search committees become a consistent part of the hiring process checklist and to discuss additional inclusive hiring recommendations. DIT began drafting inclusive hiring guide to centralize all best hiring practices.
April 2022: DIT put out a call for new members
July 2021 thru October 2021: DIT worked with SULA to identify relevant trainings, resources, and advisors (such as PARCC and the Ombuds Office) and co-drafted a charge for the new SULA subcommittee named the Syracuse University Libraries Employee Feedback and Concerns Team (EFCT). SULA finalized the charge and put out a call for inaugural EFCT members in December 2021.
August 2021: DIT Presentation to the Library Management Team (LMT) on inclusive and equitable hiring, recruitment, and retention practices as well as DIT support of these activities
April 2021: SU Libraries published a statement on Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
October 2020, January 2021, and March 2021: SU Libraries sponsored and encouraged staff attendance at one of the Racial Equity Institute (REI) Groundwater Presentations offered during those months
October 2020: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Guide published
September 2020: The Diversity and Inclusion Team (DIT) reviewed the DEI inventory put together by Libraries administration as part of a campus-wide effort to review what the University is doing to advance DEIA efforts.
July - September 2020: Diversity & Inclusion Reopening Planning Team, which included members of the DIT, discussed issues directly relating to the reopening of Syracuse University for the fall semester. Topics of discussion included potential accessibility issues due to service changes, and accommodations relating to mask wearing.
July 22, 2020: DIT Presentation to All-Staff meeting, regarding potential discrimination relating to the Libraries' reopening during the pandemic
June 2020: Resources for Racial Justice LibGuide published
June 18, 2020: Dean Seaman - All-staff meeting presentation by Neal Powless, University OmBuds and member of the Onondaga Nation, about the Haudenosaunee, the indigenous people on whose ancestral lands Syracuse University now stands.
June 18, 2020: DIT Presentation to the Library Management Team (LMT) on the past year and future goals. Topics included hiring issues, communications, and a call to action.
June 4, 2020: Statement from the Dean and the Diversity and Inclusion Team published
In the Syracuse University Libraries Strategic Plan 2018-2022, one of the four major themes is "One Library for One University." The description of this area of focus is as follows:
Libraries are inclusive places, and our services and staff serve the whole campus and the surrounding community. We are working to ensure that our buildings, collections, and websites are as accessible as possible, and the success we have had in making our physical spaces comfortable, safe, and inviting, 24 hours a day, makes us a destination location for students and faculty on campus. This also gives us opportunities to use those busy spaces to show case campus excellence. New programs are also underway, including a strategic focus on promoting library use for veterans and military families, and to more fully support international students and our Syracuse University Abroad programs.
One of the goals included under "One Library for One University" is Goal 8: Enhance Diversity and Inclusion. Objectives are as follows:
Objective 8.1: Be a strong contributor in a range of campus diversity and inclusion initiatives
Objective 8.2: Provide welcoming, accessible library spaces to the diverse groups we serve
Objective 8.3: Provide access to all of our library resources to the diverse groups we serve
Objective 8.4: Provide programs and training for Libraries staff to strengthen cultural competencies and awareness
DIT would like to encourage understanding the importance of using pronouns. Visit Why We Ask Each Other Our Pronouns and Pronouns Frequently Asked Questions to learn more. Here are a few places to add your pronouns at SU:
Know of other places where pronouns can be added? Please share with DIT and we will add that info to the list!
Resources offered for your consideration.
The journal "In the Library with the Lead Pipe" offers many thought-provoking and relevant articles on diversity in librarianship. You may wish to look through recent issues, and search for articles such as:
Sources of information on articles, events, and community happenings reviewed for this Guide include:
Schools and Colleges: School of Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, The College of Engineering and Computer Science, The David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, School of Information Studies, College of Law, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, College of Professional Studies,The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), Graduate School. Links go to the official news page for the school or college.
SU Libraries' Pinterest site for new books
Syracuse University News all categories, including keyword searches of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility