Equity & Social Justice

Equity & Social Justice at the Libraries

At the CSU Libraries, we are reflecting on our role in creating an equitable and just society and how we can help dismantle systems of oppression present in our profession, our libraries and on our campus.

As we work through strategic planning to envision the future of the CSU Libraries in 2021 and beyond, we are mindful that equity and social justice work requires intention, persistence and humility. Whatever the future, we know that improving equity and enacting social justice—among our staff, in our services, in our spaces, and in our communities—will be a guiding star toward that future.

Equity & Social Justice Advisory Group

The Equity and Social Justice Advisory Group (ESJAG) serves as an advisory body to the Dean of Libraries and advocates for diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice among Libraries employees and within Libraries spaces. ESJAG also engages and liaises with related efforts across the CSU community, coordinates educational and conversational opportunities for the Libraries, and recommends process or procedural changes in support of the Libraries’ strategic plan and goals.

Questions? Contact Jimena Sagas, Chair of the Equity and Social Justice Advisory Group.

Library Focus Areas

Strategic Planning

The Libraries is currently engaged in strategic planning and is working to infuse equity work in multiple ways.

Activities:

  • Appointed members of the Equity and Social Justice Advisory Group to strategic task forces directly linked to equity, in order to provide expert guidance
  • Hired external consultants to conduct an audit of the Libraries' diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the organizational level

 

Cultural Competency

An ESJAG subgroup supports and coordinates trainings, education, and conversations to enhance cultural competency among Libraries employees. 

Activities:

  • Launched a discussion series for Libraries faculty and staff addressing topics such as the experiences of minoritized library employees and the history of racism in libraries
  • Promoting training opportunities and resources related to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice

Inclusive Web Presence

An ESJAG subgroup advocates for accessibility of Libraries web resources and provides recommendations for the Libraries’ web presence on diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.  

Activities:

  • Collaborated with the Libraries web team to create a framework for the ESJAG webpage

Future Plans:

  • Creating a research guide with further resources about diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice
  • Promoting web accessibility trainings to Libraries employees

Campus Outreach

An ESJAG subgroup promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in the Libraries' services and spaces to campus. 

Activities:

  • Reinvigorating conversations and coordination with campus affinity groups
  • Designing a marketing plan that fosters the promotion of library resources, programming, and services to CSU faculty, students, staff, and the broader CSU community

Collections Diversity & Inclusion

The Collections Diversity and Inclusion Group collects and showcases works that are authored by or focus on voices from communities that have traditionally been marginalized or excluded from academic scholarship. 

Activities:

  • Created a Diversity Awards Purchasing Plan, automating the purchase of books that have won awards related to diversity
  • Committed to showcasing a range of contributions made to culture, knowledge, and research through the acquisition of databases that provide diverse perspectives, such as the Ebony Magazine Archive
  • Creating virtual and in-person book displays highlighting voices from marginalized and underrepresented communities

Inclusive Digitization & Archival Work

Digital and Archives Services’ equity efforts focus on collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials that document the diverse histories of the university and exploring new ways to document and enhance access to those histories. 

Activities: 

  • Acquiring and making available records from CSU organizations, including identified Student Diversity Programs, and capturing oral histories with program founders 
  • Furnishing instruction on archives' role in creating traditional historical narratives and counter narratives 
  • Providing digital access to collections and transcribing audiovisual materials in Mountain Scholar for wider access and usability 
  • Disbinding more than 500 titles annually for the Student Disability Center to aid in the creation of digital or Braille text 

Inclusive Teaching

An ESJAG subgroup promotes inclusive teaching across the Libraries through the lenses of inclusive pedagogy, Universal Design for Learning, accessibility, and more.  

Activities:

  • Surveyed Libraries’ employees to determine current engagement with inclusive teaching practices and needs for additional training and resources

Future Plans:

  • Sharing, or creating as needed, credible resources on inclusive asynchronous teaching with Libraries’ employees
  • Promoting educational opportunities on inclusive teaching topics to Libraries’ employees

Library Practices & Development

An ESJAG subgroup works to make the Libraries a more inclusive workplace by examining policies and practices with the potential to disproportionately affect specific, or marginalized, identities or groups.

Activities:

  • Examining the purpose and origin of library policies which have implications for equity, such as work hours, workplace restrictions, leave policies, and evaluation processes
  • Identifying and evaluating library practices that do not have a clear origin in written policy
  • Making direct recommendations regarding how to make policies more inclusive