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.
Diversity and Inclusion Team (DIT) Current Membership:
Nicole Westerdahl, Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sarah Duncan (email@example.com)
Stephanie McReynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daniel Sarmiento (email@example.com)
The Syracuse University Libraries (SUL) Diversity and Inclusion Team (DIT) is charged with promoting the value of diversity and inclusion among Libraries staff, in alignment with the University’s diversity and inclusion mission. The team interprets “diversity” broadly, recognizing that it takes many forms, and acknowledging certain core elements that apply regardless of the particular identity or situation: listening, respect, openness, and awareness. The team assists in identifying tools and resources that can better ensure that SUL’s programming, services, collections, spaces, staffing, and practices are inclusive, ultimately helping to foster a supportive and inclusive environment for our patrons and staff. We aim to ensure our talented staff and patrons are welcomed, retained, and continually encouraged to thrive.
Examples of tasks in which the team engage include, but are not limited to:
Due to the changing nature of and opportunities for diversity and inclusion, the Diversity and Inclusion Team is advised to review this charge on a yearly basis.
The chair or co-chairs will be selected among the team members, although preference is given for the Outreach Librarian or Inclusion and Accessibility Librarian (or equivalent) to serve as chair. Chairs (or co-chairs) should serve for a maximum of 3 years before stepping down. The Outreach Librarian and/or Inclusion and Accessibility Librarian (or equivalents) may continue to serve on the team as an ex-officio member as needed.
Team membership is to be comprised of a maximum of seven individuals recruited from the entire library staff, including but not limited to administrators, librarians, supervisors, bargaining unit staff, and library-affiliated staff. Members do not need to have an MLIS or equivalent, but all members must have an expressed interest in and an active commitment towards promoting a more diverse and inclusive library.
Although membership is voluntary, the constituency should be reflective of the Libraries’ various departments and program areas as well as its values in diversity of thought and social identity.
Members will serve staggered, renewable 2-year terms, though members are encouraged to cycle off after 2-3 consecutive terms in order to allow for the inclusion of other interested staff members.
Type of Group
Standing committee; operational/functional
Type of Reporting Preferred:
The team will communicate instructional needs, issues, and accomplishments with the Libraries Management Team throughout the year via email and/or presentations as appropriate as well as annual written reports.
Some interesting examples from other libraries.
April 2021: SU Libraries publishes a statement on Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.
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
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
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
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. As of July 2020, the site is unfortunately not https-compliant, but with that caveat in mind, you may wish to look through recent issues, and search for articles such as:
Neurodiversity in the Library: One Librarian's Experience
The Quest for Diversity in Library Staffing
“White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS.”
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:
Note that as of July 2020, some of the links are not https-compliant.
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, The College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), University College, 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