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ACRL's Diversity Standards Toolkit

Workforce Diversity

Librarians and library staff shall support and advocate for recruitment, admissions, hiring, and retention efforts in libraries, library associations, and LIS programs to increase diversity and ensure continued diversity in the profession.

ACRL's Interpretation of Standard 7

Diversity in the workplace benefits the library’s constituents and the community, the library organization, and the community. In a diverse library workforce, library users can find someone to relate to, and get services that are sensitive to their needs and preferences. Diversity also improves staff performance and overall library success.

Diversity also benefits library and information schools, improving the quality of learning as students explore different perspectives and reduce prejudice, and fostering deeper thinking (Kim and Sin 2008).

Diversity is one of ALA’s five key action areas to ensure high-quality library services to all constituents. Within that mission is the need to recruit underrepresented groups and individuals with disabilities to the profession.

It is this diversity that contributes a deeper level of understanding and competence to our daily work. The American Library Association envisions a richly, diverse workforce providing a high level of service to the membership in an environment where respect, appreciation, equity and inclusion are core values (ALA 2003, 1).

The culturally competent organization shall:

  • Develop an action plan to actively recruit and retain staff and librarians. Librarians should go beyond the traditional avenues to advertise positions to create and develop formal and informal ways to reach individuals that represent the constituents served. 
  • Obtain statistics about underrepresented personnel (students, staff, librarians) in the organization review information, and work to understand the lacking numbers and personnel in the organization.
  • Develop and implement human resource and other organizational policies, procedures, and practices that support staff diversity.
  • Develop and implement organizational policies, procedures, and practices that effectively address the dynamics of a diverse workforce
  • Review recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies, procedures, and practices to remedy inadvertent exclusion of or discrimination toward underrepresented, underserved, and historically oppressed groups.
  • Implement safeguards against exclusion of or discrimination toward underrepresented, underserved, and historically oppressed groups in the workplace, and take corrective action when inequities are discovered.

Did you know?

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) offers a number of Diversity Programs to support the recruitment and ongoing professional development of library and information professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.

Sample Applications of Standard 7

  • Recruiting diverse faculty and staff
  • Developing culturally comptent curricula within LIS schools
  • Providing diversity scholarship information for prospective students
  • Creating entry-level positions for new or recent graduates (e.g. residency programs)
  • Including Equal Employment Opportunity statements and other commitments towards diversity in job advertisements
  • Linking job advertisements to the greater institution's value statements on diversity
  • Posing questions related to cultural competencies in job application or interviews

ACRL's Standards Selection of Sites Disclosure

To the extent that it is possible, we have selected several national and state resources.  Note that the UAF libraries are not responsible for the content of external websites.  These news feeds are simply a starting point to your implementing of these standards.

Ice Breakers


Below are some links providing a number of resources, strategies, and related projects to help support libraries in their diversity recruitment initiatives.

Institutions Implementing this Standard and Contacts

We would like to have your suggestions about what insitutions to showcase here.  It could be your own institution or you can refer someone you know.  Your feedback is appreciated.

"Your Institution's name and diversity work here"

Your Opinion