Principles of Community in Action at the Libraries

Photo of students studying in Morgan Library


The CSU Libraries has adopted the University’s Principles of Community as our organizational values. We value the Principles of Community in activities, services and operations. The following is intended to serve as a guide to how those values may be actualized through librarianship. Many activities, services and operations may honor and reflect multiple principles.

This is not an exhaustive list, and we encourage all employees to use the following as inspiration for their own ideas for actualizing these values in their work.


“We create and nurture inclusive environments and welcome, value and affirm all members of our community, including their various identities, skills, ideas, talents and contributions.”


  • Intentional collection development for diverse ideas and contributions
  • Accessibility of digital and in-person library spaces and services
  • Review of cataloging and descriptive practices for biases
  • Instructional practices that affirm users’ lived experiences and diverse knowledges
  • Services that are usable by all users and assume no prior knowledge
  • Opportunities for staff to participate in distributed decision-making and demonstrate leadership
  • Opportunities for users to impact the Libraries’ resources and services (e.g. purchase request, Undergraduate Student Advisory Board, volunteering, user testing)


“We are accountable for our actions and will act ethically and honestly in all our interactions.”


  • Ethical data practices and transparency with employees and users about library data practices
  • Instructional practices that orient users to practices in appropriate citations, research ethics and academic integrity
  • Broad responsibility and stewardship of library and University resources and budgets
  • Assessment and accountability processes


“We honor the inherent dignity of all people within an environment where we are committed to freedom of expression, critical discourse and the advancement of knowledge.”


  • Transparent structures for governance and input
  • Culture of questioning and curiosity
  • Shared practices of respectful disagreement, dialogue and intervention
  • Diverse opportunities and platforms for employees to communicate and support each other as colleagues and humans
  • Assume expertise and intent of colleagues to benefit the organization


“We are responsible, individually and collectively, to give of our time, talents and resources to promote the well-being of each other and the development of our local, regional and global communities.”


  • Support for CSU community and life needs
  • Focus on community outreach and engagement strategies in collaboration with public libraries and other community partners
  • Leadership and active participation in professional associations
  • Intentional services that positively impact our local, regional and global communities (e.g. Open movement, sustainability work, etc.)

Social Justice

“We have the right to be treated and the responsibility to treat others with fairness and equity, the duty to challenge prejudice, and to uphold the laws, policies and procedures that promote justice in all respects.”


  • Examine policies and practices (visible and hidden) using a social justice lens (e.g patron fines)
  • Recruit, develop and retain employees representing the diversity of the community
  • Cite diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice topics and experts as examples
  • Examine and mitigate biases and prejudices built into information systems (e.g. algorithms, classification systems, etc.)
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