From Ithaka S+R:
As academic libraries seek to meaningfully engage with calls to improve practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) it is important that the library’s collections align with that mission. Yet, Ithaka S+R’s recent survey of library directors found that most libraries have not developed criteria for evaluating and making decisions related to the diversity of their collections. A library-wide strategy for diversifying collections also involves leveraging staff and resources in new ways and creating a broader culture committed to diversity. Therefore, diversifying collections requires new approaches from leadership that embrace vulnerability, learning, and unlearning—as well as a willingness to rethink structures, staffing, incentives and other organizational impediments.
To help libraries begin this process, Ithaka S+R is convening a series of discussion groups for academic library leadership and staff who wish to diversify their collections. The “Leading by Diversifying Collections” series will support the development and launch of a workbook for academic libraries to assess locally both how to start and concrete next steps for their collections’ DEI strategy.