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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA)

  • Our Commitment

    Ohio University Libraries and its DEIA committee are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and social justice initiatives that support the teaching, learning, and research endeavors of our faculty, staff, students, and other user communities. In line with the three themes at the heart of the Libraries’ 2021-2023 strategic plan: Connect, Empower, and Sustain, we recognize our responsibility to foster an all-inclusive community where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected. We commit ourselves to actively engage our faculty, staff, and students in efforts to nurture diverse and inclusive Libraries’ spaces, collections, conversations, policies, and procedures. Seeking to create a better future, we encourage members of our community to join us in promoting awareness and understanding of issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.  

Our Actions

The University Libraries are advancing DEIA goals through multiple initiatives that fall into five different categories: training, research, accessibility, inclusivity, and collections. Please feel free to visit this space regularly for updates, to ask questions, and to hold us accountable!

Our actions support the Libraries' Strategic Plan themes:

  • Connect: Gather and share data on DEIA initiatives and projects within the Libraries
  • Empower: Identify professional development opportunities for Libraries' Staff
  • Sustain: Develop and maintain an accessible and transparent record of current and past projects documenting the Libraries commitment to supporting DEIA initiatives

Have questions, comments, or suggestions? Contact us here. 

Training: Intentional Exploration

The staff of the University Libraries have always been advocates of continuous learning and growth. Under DEIA priorities, we specifically seek to better understand how what we do and present our work can be improved to ensure all are welcome, equal, and respected. Examples include:

  • Participating in OHIO Diversity and Inclusion offered diversity trainings such as Diversity and Inclusion Core Trainings and Search Committee Training and Tools (ongoing)
  • Participating in DEIA trainings through professional organizations, conferences, webinars, etc. (ongoing)
  • Researching external training opportunities (ongoing)
  • Select staff participating in Zane State College's DEI Common Read (complete)
  • Libraries-wide shared reading and discussion.

Research: Improving the Research Experience

The Libraries are identifying, investigating, and changing practices to ensure that our researchers are provided access to resources through thoughtful and respectful means. This includes:

Accessibility: Redesigning Tools and Spaces

We are reviewing and developing processes so that the design of our online tools and physical spaces meet the needs of all users. Some of the ways in which we are meeting this goal are:

  • Accessibility testing leading to as-needed adjustments to all online content ranging from instructional tutorials and digital exhibits to downloadable pdfs and videos and more (ongoing)
  • Developing new webpages and research tools with accessibility standards, such as screen readers, alt text, etc., as guides (in-process)
  • Making physical changes to Libraries’ spaces to improve accessibility. Examples include: updating study spaces and zones, new signage, carpet replacement, stairwell repair, lighting changes, etc. (in-process)
  • Offering hybrid options for public events (ongoing)

Inclusivity: Broadening Perspectives

We are committed to inviting more diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences into how we work and in the establishment of new programs, workflows, and policies. Examples include: 

  • Established the Libraries’ Student Advisory Board to increase representation and include more diverse voices (complete)
  • Examining student employment processes, pay equity, and internship guidelines (ongoing)
  • Participating in the OhioLINK Luminaries Internship Program (ongoing)
  • Listening and responding to collections stakeholders who request changes to problematic language used in description (ongoing)
  • Select staff participating in the university’s Study Space Task Force and the creation of the Study Spaces Locator (complete)
  • Expanding access to online resources to all Ohio University regional campuses (complete)
  • Enabling student-curated exhibits to expand perspective and representation (ongoing)

Collections: Growing Representation in Our Collections

We are seeking to expand representation within and across our collections in order to offer more equitable access to a more diverse range of authors, scholars, scientists, artists, and other content creators of all kinds. Changes we are making include: 

  • Prioritizing more equity in representation through collecting practices and policies that center historically marginalized and underrepresented voices and communities such as through our annual Juneteenth acquisitions (ongoing)
  • Prioritizing collection of open access materials (ongoing)
  • Prioritizing digitization of archives and special collections materials that center marginalized and underrepresented voices and communities (ongoing)
  • Ohio University Press joined Ohio Open Library  (complete)