Diversity at The University Libraries
Nataly Blas is among the 2014 class of ALA Emerging Leaders
What Do We Mean by Diversity?
Diversity Resources Page
University Libraries defines diversity as the vibrant variety of human characteristics that combine to shape each one of us. These characteristics include not only the familiar categories of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, but also: age, cognitive style, disability, economic, educational and geographic background, languages spoken, marital status, political affiliation, religious beliefs and more.
Valuing diversity means recognizing that we are all shaped by numerous and varied factors, making each of us uniquely qualified to contribute to the collective goal of the libraries -- to serve the diverse information needs of our diverse user groups.
Diversity in Context
The University Libraries’ interest in diversity is supported by trends in the field of professional librarianship, demographic realities, and university-wide goals. The American Library Association has implemented an Office for Diversity; the Association of Research Libraries has also established diversity initiatives; and other university libraries across the country are recognizing the need to recruit and train a more diverse workforce. According to the latest United States census, the state of North Carolina continues to grow in cultural diversity, as do Guilford County and the city of Greensboro. Furthermore, UNCG has established the office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion to "nurture a campus community that reflects and embraces the increasing diversity of North Carolina."
The UNCG University Libraries have established a two-year diversity residency in order to foster a new librarian’s professional growth while investing in the libraries’ commitment to diversity. In the first year of the program, the resident will work in three functional areas and thus gain valuable experience in multiple service areas of academic librarianship. In the second year of the program, the resident will choose one service area upon which to focus. The resident will also participate in diversity initiatives for both the library and the university.
University Libraries Diversity Committee
The UNCG University Libraries have established a permanent diversity committee, which is charged with ensuring a library environment that is receptive to staff and user diversity, and supportive of diversity in the curriculum and other areas across campus. Possible activities of this committee will include: performing a climate survey; compiling multicultural resource guides; hosting events related to diversity; and encouraging staff participation in diversity workshops and events hosted by other units and institutions.
For more information on the Libraries Diversity Committee, contact Committee Chair Gerald Holmes.
Visit the Library and Information Studies Department ACE Scholars Program Page to find out more about our IMLS Grant to increase the number of Ethnic Minority Librarians in Academic Libraries!