Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

NOT PUBLISHED

Randall Library has a responsibility to address systemic racism and make positive changes in the culture at UNCW.  Libraries can be intimidating places for students; we often hear students say they are afraid to ask a question or approach a staff member.  How much more intimidating are we to students who don’t see themselves represented in our staff or our collections or who feel unwelcomed in our spaces?  Those of us in the U.S. demographic majority (who are white, straight, cisgender) take for granted ingrained cultural systems that reflect a historically dominant perspective and experience; we are often oblivious to what our colleagues and students of color and other marginalized groups face routinely in the library and on campus.  We have to look inward at our own biases and look outward, opening our minds to recognize the experiences of others if we are to address racism and make positive change.

One of our first efforts was to create a comprehensive plan (PDF), which will evolve as we listen and learn from our users. In brief, the plan includes:

Mission

To identify and address diversity, equity, and inclusion (or DEI) issues affecting our under-represented students, faculty, and staff by incorporating DEI initiatives and strategies into all library operations and services to ensure that Randall Library is equitably meeting the needs of all its users.

Vision

To become a campus-wide model for embedding and mandating DEI initiatives and strategies across all organizational levels for the betterment and inclusivity of all library stakeholders

Values and Goals

Randall Library is committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI. Being committed to DEI means we are committed to ensuring that our educational, social, and work environments are equitable, inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all students, faculty, staff, and the broader University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) community.  The goals for 2021-2023 are:

  • At the end of each academic year, review Randall Library policies, procedures, and operations to ensure they meet the goals and objectives of this DEI Plan.
  • Create opportunities and assessment measures for library employees to increase cultural competencies.
  • Provide collaborative support for teaching and scholarship that advances equitable and inclusive pedagogical practices and facilitates open and equitable systems of scholarship.
  • Build and maintain diverse and inclusive collections that are easily discoverable and accessible.  Offer innovative services, programming, and community outreach that promotes the goals of DEI.
  • Ensure Randall Library’s physical and virtual spaces are accessible, inclusive, welcoming, and safe for all users.
  • Create and nurture a culture whereby the library is a destination workplace that values and advances diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice through recruitment, hiring, and retention best practices.  

See the full Randall Library DEI Plan (PDF).

We recognize this will be a long journey that will require commitment and perseverance, where, individually and collectively, we will experience challenges and setbacks and also inspiration and hope.  We hope that our students, faculty, staff and community users will join us in our efforts. For more information or you would like to share your feedback, please contact Lucy Holman, Dean of the Library.