At the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the ACRL Leadership Council generated a robust list of suggested action items for the association to consider in conjunction with the development of a new Signature Initiative on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).
As a follow up to the Midwinter Leadership Council meeting, and to engage the full membership around the initiative, the ACRL Board of Directors earlier this summer invited all members to complete a two-question poll to help shape and prioritize the work of the initiative and 849 ACRL members responded.
The top suggested action items for ACRL to address in the EDI Signature Initiative included:
Partner with library schools and/or institutions to support the recruitment of diverse individuals into library/information science programs. 12.69% 509 Actively work to diversify ACRL leadership and membership. 12.09% 485 Develop a toolkit (e.g. sandbox; resource list; resource repository; etc.) to support EDI training for institutions and individuals. 10.55% 423 Develop instruction/training on critical pedagogy and social justice issues. 9.40% 377 Evaluate existing residency programs, retention initiatives, and best practices in recruitment in academic libraries. 9.08% 364 Implement training on using diversity-related competency standards (e.g. Cultural Competencies for Academic Libraries). 8.35% 335
Multiple respondents addressed issues around accessibility, both in physical and virtual environments. Several respondents questioned the value of this initiative and one called for ACRL to “ponder its readiness” before proceeding. One action on the list, developing workshops or RoadShow-like activities on EDI topics, was not a top result and generated many comments. Some respondents supported the idea of a roadshow or workshops; others were adamantly opposed.