CWRU Libraries Diversity Action Plan


The CWRU Diversity Working group in their 2020-2022 action plan recommends that campus libraries focus on:

  • Culture
  • Collections
  • Spaces

Culture will focus on staff training and development and collections, while collections and spaces will be addressed through an organizational diversity audit. This will be a collaborative effort that will engage staff across teams and campus libraries. Moreover, it will create an opportunity to seek guidance from and build relationships with groups on campus who are engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

CWRU Libraries Diversity Statement:

The Case Western Reserve University Libraries are deeply committed to achieving racial justice, and promoting a culture of anti-racism, inclusion, equity, and diversity, so all people are welcome, heard, empowered, and valued.


Initiative 1. CULTURE:
Create a plan to engage all CWRU libraries staff on diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and anti-racism education and development targeting library services, culture, and organization. The training should focus on fostering a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist library system as a shared responsibility for all staff and leaders. Developing a shared language, understanding, and awareness of DEI and anti-racism will allow the staff to engage in needed conversations with each other and leadership about how these issues present themselves within the CWRU library structure. These conversations and the awareness that comes from them will shift staff perspectives on how we work with patrons and how we structure our spaces, collections, and services to be welcoming and equitable to all. Shared vocabulary, understanding and conversation will help us move forward together to identify actionable solutions within our respective roles, responsibilities, and libraries. Without this internal education and work, making lasting, beneficial change for patrons and staff will be challenging and limited.

Strategy. Work with different CWRU departments such as Multicultural Affairs and OIDEO to develop an education and development program for CWRU library staff. We will offer staff training sessions to all CWRU libraries or collaborate with departments that are already offering training, such as the law school.
Strategy. To reinforce topics discussed during the monthly training, we will share articles, documentaries, events, etc. with all library staff in areas of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity and equity and create spaces for discussions of specific topics. We will use surveys to assess the impact of the training and discussion sessions.
Strategy. Find a tool to create a virtual bulletin board for the Diversity Working Group and other library staff to collaboratively share events and discussions on campus about DEI and anti-racism.
Strategy. Each staff member should include as part of their annual goals a diversity goal. This can be a goal in support of one of the action plan initiatives or a professional development goal (commit to attending a specific number of diversity-related educational sessions during the year).

Initiative 2. COLLECTIONS:
Perform a Diversity Audit of the libraries' content collections. Create and promote openly accessible digital collections or exhibits to uncover and make available content that celebrates and informs about the history of CWRU diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
Strategy. CWRU library staff will create and implement a framework for assessing diversity within collections.
Strategy. Use tools such as Scalar or Digital Case to publish and share existing diverse libraries’ collections.


Initiative 3. SPACES:
Perform a Diversity Audit of the libraries’ physical spaces. 

Strategy. The Diversity Working Group will work with CWRU Library administrators and other campus partners to create a survey to assess spaces and identify structures that work against CWRU Libraries' anti-racism, equity, inclusion, and diversity efforts. For example, we will consider the library spaces’ names and portraits around the libraries and examine whether they are representative of a diverse and inclusive community.

Current budget cuts prevent us from investing in significant space changes. However, an evaluation of all library spaces will take time and will need to draw from the learning and awareness that we develop through Initiative 1 (above). This audit will set us up to plan, communicate our intentions with staff, and execute those actions as soon as financials improve.