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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The Association helps its members develop and sustain diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible services, collections, and work environments. ARL’s work advances access to economic and social prosperity, encourages full participation in society, and counters the historical lack of access to and underrepresentation of human and material resources that libraries and archives cultivate and steward.

Key Accomplishments in 2018

ARL Awards Undergraduates, Graduate Students with Diversity Fellowships, Scholarships

The ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence (AFDIE) Selection Committee chose 11 undergraduates as 2018–2019 AFDIE Fellows. The AFDIE program introduces undergraduates from a variety of disciplines to digital stewardship and promotes diversification of research library and archives staffs. The ARL/Society of American Archivists (SAA) Mosaic Program Selection Committee accepted three MLIS students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as 2018–2020 Mosaic Program Fellows. The ARL/SAA Mosaic Program advances much-needed diversification of the archives and special collections professions. Members of the ARL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and their designees chose 15 MLIS students to participate in the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) as 2018–2020 ARL Diversity Scholars. The IRDW helps create a diverse professional community that will better meet the needs of researchers, students, and other constituencies whose demographics and perspectives are quickly evolving.

Two Symposia Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Research Libraries, Archives

During the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, ARL hosted its 14th Annual Leadership Symposium for participants in ARL’s diversity and recruitment programs. The symposium develops leadership skills among participants, and provides opportunities for participants to build cohorts and learning communities. The event explores contemporary roles and cultures of research libraries and archives, and addresses the realities of working in research and higher education environments, especially for people of color. Additionally, in May, ARL and the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) offered the Symposium for Strategic Leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This new symposium aimed to increase understanding and capacity among academic and research library professionals for creating healthy organizations with diverse, equitable, and inclusive climates.

ARL Releases Publication, Statements Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

In May, ARL released Accessibility and Universal Design, SPEC Kit 358, an exploration of how ARL member libraries are meeting the accessibility needs of individuals with disabilities. This year ARL also released five statements promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion: “ADA Education and Reform Act Threatens Equity of Access” (February), “ARL Denounces Harassment of Chris Bourg following Code4Lib Keynote” (March), “ARL Issues Statement on Supreme Court Decision Upholding Travel Ban” (June), “ARL Affirms Support of Civil Rights Protections for Transgender People” (November), and “ARL Condemns Anti-Semitic Attacks” (December).