Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as Action: Designing a Collective DEI Strategy with Library Staff
Keywords:Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Library and Information Science
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Citation:Espinosa de los Monteros, Pamela and Sandra Enimil (2020). "Chapter 2: Designing a Collaborative DEI Strategy for Library Staff," In Christopher Bombaro (Eds). Diversity and Inclusion in Action. Atlanta, GA: American Library Association Editions.
The EDI @ OSUL pilot, is an employee led initiative of The Ohio State University Libraries that facilitates equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) conversations for library units and departments through a workshop model. The 2018-2019 initiative was developed to hold the University Libraries accountable for their recent adoption of a strategic initiative focused on inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility, and social justice (IDEAS). The curriculum and design of the workshop assisted the organization to transition from discussing values to embedding them in organizational systems with strategic action. The initiative's workshops were led by organizational leaders from different background (e.g., people of color as well as individuals from majority groups), career levels (e.g., staff and faculty, managers, early-career, tenured/untenured), and library units (e.g., IT, HR, Public Services, Technical Services) with varying levels of expertise and experience in facilitating conversations around EDI. At each workshop the pilot team documented observations and collected qualitative data from participants based on self-assessments and group discussions that emphasize action-driven applications of EDI concepts at the individual, departmental, and organizational level. Data and observations from each workshop were collected and later analyzed to help inform the development of a collective and transformative EDI strategy for University Libraries. Unlike traditional EDI trainings, the EDI@ OSUL pilot uses a workshop setting to create a forum where library personnel from different areas of the organization can reflect and discuss with each other topics such as: EDI as a value; EDI definitions; existing EDI practices and gaps; and EDI organizational priorities. The workshop is designed to be inclusive, applicable, and accessible to participants with varying levels of cultural fluency. The workshop curriculum also addresses international perspectives of EDI that are often missing from existing library and information science research and curriculum. The goal of the EDI @ OSUL project is to create a forum where library personnel can mindfully reflect and discuss definitions, practices, gaps, and goals for the organization. Another goal is to convey the message that EDI work can be advanced by all members of a LIS organization and not solely the work of people of color, EDI leaders, or a committee. This book chapter describes the design and methodology used to create the EDI @ OSUL pilot, training, and implementation of the workshops for library staff. The chapter also discusses the workshop outcomes and effectiveness in developing strategic EDI actions for the organization. While the chapter will not provide specific information on workshop discussions to respect the privacy of the participants, it does summarize the process involved in developing the pilot. It is our hope that other libraries will be able to use this model to address similar issues and concerns in building a collective vision and strategy for their organizations. The chapter also provides a method from which to cultivate in-house EDI leaders who can lead from where they are.
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Rights:Copyright © 2020 Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros and Sandra Enimil
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