Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Learn more about the library’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the actions we take to put that commitment into practice.
The library is committed to creating a more just and equitable society by fostering excellence in higher education. In doing so, we are driven by our core value of inclusivity and guided by the work of the Dean’s Action Committee on Diversity & Inclusivity. We use the terms diversity, equity, and inclusion in accordance with how the American Library Association defines them in their interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.
The library serves as the academic center of The Claremont Colleges, a distinguished consortium of academic institutions that advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strive to create inclusive physical and virtual spaces where people from all backgrounds and experiences are welcome, safe, and respected. We do this by highlighting the voices and perspectives of historically marginalized and underrepresented groups and by ensuring these groups have equitable access to our resources and services. Our principal aim is to reduce barriers to research, learning, and engagement.
We also seek to develop a library work environment that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. When all of our staff members feel respected and that their differences are understood and valued, they can reach their full potential. By recruiting, employing, and retaining a diverse staff, our perspectives and insights are continuously expanded. Inclusivity drives creativity and innovation and in so doing, empowers us to meet the information needs of all faculty, students, and staff of The Claremont Colleges.
This statement is intended to serve as a commitment to intentionally foster diversity, equity, and inclusion, and as a means for holding ourselves accountable for living up to this commitment. It is a living document and remains a work in progress.
To learn more about specific actions the library has already taken or is committed to taking, visit our Diversity in Action section below.
Links to the 7 Claremont Colleges’ diversity, equity, and inclusion websites:
Concrete actions the library is committed to taking or has already taken in order to support and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion include:
Established in 2014. Its members include staff, librarians, and student workers from across the library. (On hiatus since 2020)
The committee’s charge is to create a community in which we not only acknowledge and respect but also appreciate and value diversity and inclusivity. The committee will take action on issues of race, ethnicity, religion, belief, economic class, age, gender, sexuality, and physical ability. Committee members will engage in a wide range of activities, including recruitments; student affairs; collections and service issues; international initiatives; outreach and collaborations; and publications, exhibitions, programs, and events.
- Recruit and retain a staff from historically underrepresented groups
- Advertise positions on a wide range of outlets and via networks more likely to be seen by applicants from underrepresented groups
- Be intentional about the language used in recruitments (e.g., avoiding jargon; spelling out acronyms; avoiding modifying words that culturally imply we are looking for a certain gender, background, age, etc.)
- Develop a process and rubric for requesting diversity statements from job candidates (In progress)
- Provide staff and student assistants with training and development to cultivate cultural humility, sensitivity, understanding, and empathy, especially as it relates to supporting marginalized or underrepresented groups and identities (In progress)
- Provide language/name pronunciation workshops for staff with to learn how to pronounce common surnames and given names. Workshops will also provide strategies for successfully communicating and addressing people from different countries and heritages (first one held September 2019)
- Foster a culture of awareness and compassion through mentoring, promoting self-education, supporting professional development, and holding each other accountable (In progress)
- In Spring 2023 the Library launched a formal peer mentoring program open to all Library staff members to participate in. This program is one component of a multifaceted approach aimed at supporting staff growth and development. This program is distinct from other types of skill and professional development opportunities in its focus on peer-to-peer learning within the Library. A key principle of our peer mentoring program is a recognition that everyone can learn and grow, and everyone has skills and knowledge to share. Mentoring relationships are created based on what participants want to learn, and not on how many years of experience someone has, or their position in the organization.
Create welcoming, safe, inclusive, and accessible library spaces and services:
- Improve digital and analog signage and wayfinding to make it easier for all users to navigate our physical building (In progress)
- Participate in the Libraries are for Everyone Campaign (started in 2017) with digital signage and buttons for students, faculty, and staff to make and wear
- Incorporate Universal Design principles into our website, marketing materials, physical and analog publications and spaces. This includes being intentional about where furniture is situated in the building, making sure aisles are large enough for everyone to navigate.
- Continuously improve web site accessibility with the goal of full conformance to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) Level AA
- Active Learning – Teaching librarians are committed to incorporating active learning strategies into their information literacy instruction sessions. There is much evidence that active learning strategies empower students to take responsibility for their learning by contributing to discussions, asking questions, and taking risks. Barriers to learning, such as low confidence and anxiety, are significantly reduced by creating and fostering flexible learning environments.
- Inclusive Pedagogy – Teaching librarians work closely with The Claremont Colleges Center for Teaching and Learning to enhance their instruction. Elements of inclusive pedagogy that librarians have adopted are transparent teaching, de-centering the classroom, and using inclusive language and examples that include marginalized and underrepresented populations when conducting search demonstrations.
- Outreach & Curated Guides to educate our community about anti-racism and Black Lives Matter – in Summer 2020 several librarians got together to create an Anti-Racism & Black Lives Matter Resource Guide. Since being published, and a few weeks later posted on the library’s homepage, it has been the most heavily visited guide on our website.
- Supporting First-Generation College Students
Teaching librarians are intentionally considering how to transform, adjust, or create new services and approaches aimed at ensuring first-generation college students are more comfortable with and less overwhelmed by the academic research process. Examples include:
- Being clear and transparent about what services we offer on our website and when interacting with students.
- Sharing information about the services available across the library and the colleges when we interact with all students.
- Setting clear expectations when meeting and interacting with students.
- Reducing the amount of academic and library jargon and terminology we use in written and verbal communication.
- Ensuring we are identifiable (as library staff) (In progress)
- The Zine Collection provides a platform for those whose voices are often marginalized by mainstream publishing. Our growing collection of zines focuses primarily on work by people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and Claremont Colleges students.
- The Braxton Popular Reading collection prioritizes purchasing titles by diverse authors who are often underrepresented in publishing. In this first year since relaunching this collection after the building reopened (April 2022-April 2023) 73% of all titles added to the Braxton collection have been from underrepresented authors. We now also solicit recommendations from all Library staff and more recently we’ve begun inviting student assistants to make recommendations as well. We’ve also launched a Staff picks program where staff write brief reviews of books that they enjoyed helping users select titles to read.
- Topical book displays highlighting works and content by underrepresented authors and perspectives
- Our language collections include Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials in our Asian Library. We also collect materials in European, Latin American, and Middle Eastern languages.
We have several programs aimed at providing equitable access to information and sources:
- Inclusive Metadata Taskforce – a group of librarians and library staff began informally meeting in 2019 and was formally charged in 2020. They focused on establishing guidelines for how to address issues of racism, exclusion, and/or bias in the metadata used in various Library discovery tools. The goal was of these guidelines would be to ensure the metadata we use to describe our collections is as inclusive as possible. In 2022 the task force finalized the following documents:
- Course Readings Program – All required readings that faculty submit to the Huntley Bookstore are automatically purchased by the library and added to our Course Readings collection. This ensures all students, regardless of economic resources, have access to these resources.
- Patron Driven Acquisitions – The library makes some e-books and videos discoverable in Library Search even when we don’t own or pay for them. This allows access to much more content than the library could otherwise afford, allowing the library to only pay for the content once it is needed and used. This approach ensures we are able to stretch our budget and meet the diverse needs of our community at the same time.
- Tech Lending Program – Because we recognize that not everyone can afford or has access to the latest technological devices, the library offers a variety of different media equipment and emerging technologies for checkout to current Claremont Colleges students, faculty, and staff. Consultations are also available to introduce you to the equipment and tech.
- Open Access (OA) Resources are freely available online research publications that are also free of most traditional licensing/copyright restrictions. These resources are accessible by anyone regardless of geography or institutional affiliation.
- The library currently financially supports Knowledge Unlatched and SCOAP3 – Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics. Both of these efforts are aimed at transforming traditional fee-based publications into OA ones.
- We link to numerous well-respected and peer-reviewed OA resources (books and journal articles) in Library Search.
Values-based assessment – The library’s contribution to our community is measured not simply by the size of our collection or the number of students we teach. It is also important to determine how our organization makes a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. To do that, we develop metrics for our annual organizational goals that help us assess how our work reflects our library’s core values. (In progress)
Last updated 5/23/2023