What would you like to share about EDI work done at your library or at your institution?
- At Emory & Henry College, the entire library staff has participated in institution-wide anti-racism training. The Library has also supported the work of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office with reading lists and library resources for campus-wide events (Anti-Racism; Women’s History Month).
- Specifically at the Library, we have partnered with faculty to provide new anti-racism and EDI library resources for research and course materials. We have also followed through on our commitment to prioritizing diverse perspectives and works by authors of color in our collection development work across disciplines and collections in our Collection Development Plan this year and going forward.
- We are also taking concrete steps to improve accessibility for our online and in-person library patrons.
What are your library and/or institutional plans for future EDI efforts?
- One of our librarians is currently working on a new type of acquisitions rubric for book purchases to measure how we are doing at increasing the diversity of voices represented in our library’s collections. We plan to use the rubric to retrospectively measure acquisitions from the past two years to create a baseline, which we can then intentionally build on as we work to diversify our collections. We look forward to sharing our progress with this new tool with our colleagues and our communities.
- Another librarian is working on a new perspective for teaching issues surrounding plagiarism and intellectual property with both students and faculty. Based on the work of Natalie Hill and Laura Tadena presented at ACRL 2021, we are working to “reframe” plagiarism from an EDI lens.
The past 18 months have held many challenges and changes. How have you grown and learned to do things better? Were there initiatives that didn’t go as you had planned or things you would do differently in the future?
- With all that has happened surrounding the pandemic, being online, working through hybrid, being back on campus with COVID protocols, we have become very focused on community: the Library’s role in the campus community, online and distanced communities, rebuilding community. This has translated into a series of trial and error in the best ways to connect with students. Through this process, we’ve seen some early trends. Students want to connect and are more willing to ask for help than before the pandemic. We’ve had a 44% increase in questions asked compared to pre-pandemic numbers. However, some students are still hesitant to be in public spaces or in-person gatherings. No one came to our annual Holloween campus ghost story event. We also learned that everyone, from first-years, to graduate students, to faculty, loves buttons. If your library doesn’t have a button maker, you need one.