The library’s commitment to anti-racism, as shared initially in June 2020, in the aftermath of the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, has been archived here.

Contact Info

Luke Vilelle, University Librarian

Phone: 540-362-6232

Diversity, Equity, and Justice

The library has a fundamental commitment to provide “a welcoming environment where all members of our community feel like they belong,” and “we strive for equity, diversity and inclusion through every aspect of our resources and services. This includes accessible spaces, diverse collections, and responsive policies and programming.” Following the call and lead of Pres. Mary Hinton, we recognize we must incorporate equity, diversity, and justice education and action into the fabric of our professional work. To that end, this page will document our work toward the goals identified in Pres. Hinton’s Aug. 31, 2020 Report on Inclusion, Diversity, and Justice at Hollins. We will update this page with progress toward our goals.

Need to increase diverse representation on campus

The library looks forward to ensuring our next searches utilize the best practices identified in Pres. Hinton’s report, including the inclusion of search advocates in the process. The library has taken previous steps toward broadening its candidate pools to be more inclusive (for example, by reducing the number of required qualifications for positions, and by advertising open positions in more diverse locations) and will extend this work with the support of campus partners.

2020-21 goal: Incorporate search advocates and voluntarily reported demographic data from our candidates into any search we are able to conduct.

Enhanced professional development for all

Library staff members, since 2018, have been required to have an equity and diversity goal for themselves each year, focused on their personal development. These goals have often included commitments to read books, watch films, and/or attend events that will broaden the staff member’s experiences and enable connections across skin colors and cultures. This work started with the Intercultural Development Inventory, in which all staff members participated, under the leadership of then-Special Advisor on Inclusivity and Diversity Idella Glenn, in 2018.

2020-21 goal: Dedicate a newly created MS Teams group to our EDJ work. In the Teams group, we will share thoughts, ideas, and links to content, which will serve as the basis for discussions in staff meetings. (In previous years we had shared opportunities within staff meetings; our hope is that “flipping” this content into Teams will enable deeper discussions in our meetings.)

Providing an inclusive academic experience

An inclusive curriculum needs an inclusive library collection, in which every student can see themselves. An inclusive curriculum needs librarians who are prepared to lead difficult conversations in the classroom.

An inclusive academic experience needs to ensure that all students feel like they belong in every part of campus, including the library. The library initiated a series of conversations with students across campus about their library experiences in the spring of 2020, beginning with participants in ISOP and ETP.

An inclusive academic experience needs to recognize the historical barriers to such a sense of belonging, including the university’s ties to enslavement. The library’s archivist and outreach librarian have been a part of the campus Working Group on Slavery and its Contemporary Legacies since its inception.

2020-21 goals/activities

  • Buy more zines by BIPoC
  • Support a black-owned bookstore by purchasing materials from them
  • Buy unlimited access e-books whenever possible for materials related to racism/anti-racism
  • Continue to develop our anti-racist bookshelf
  • Participate in any workshops designed to facilitate difficult classroom conversations
  • Continue conversations with student groups across campus, particularly those representing traditionally under-represented populations
  • Librarian Maryke Barber is serving as the co-chair of the Working Group on Slavery and its Contemporary Legacies

Structures to provide support and redress

The library is committed to developing annual goals to further the work of equity, diversity and inclusion, and to share these goals (and subsequent successes and failures) with the community. We pledge to be responsive to the university’s shared vision statement, and the long-range strategic plan, both to be developed in 2020-21. We will be transparent with our community about our discussions, goals, and outcomes.

2020-21 goals

  • Create this website to share our EDJ work on an ongoing basis.

Last updated: November 16, 2020 at 9:32 am