Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

 

We welcome, value, and seek to include people of all races, cultures, religions, socioeconomic statuses, ages, visible and invisible disabilities, political and social viewpoints, sexual orientations and gender identities. We recognize that systemic inequities and barriers exist. We continually strive to dismantle them and provide equitable access for all members of our community and staff.

–Shaker Heights Public Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

 

Shaker Library’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, made up of members of the staff and the Board of Trustees, was created in 2021 with the following charge:

The Shaker Heights Public Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will develop and lead implementation of the Shaker Heights Public Library strategic initiative to identify and eliminate the barriers to being a fully equitable and inclusive organization.

The committee reviewed and revised the library’s Mission, Vision, and Values through a DEI lens, and developed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement above as a supplement to the values.

Library staff have been working on a variety of initiatives in support of this work.

Initiatives related to programs and services have included:

  • Completed a collection diversity audit of the library’s collection of books, using an outside vendor. The audit showed many areas in which our collection is diverse and some areas for improvement. This information has guided collection selection on an ongoing basis.
  • Reviewed and revised the Collection Development Policy and practices with a DEI lens.
  • Reviewed and revised the Library Programs and Classes Policy and practices with a DEI lens.
  • Created the Adult Temporary Library Card, allowing those without a permanent address to access library materials.
  • Thoroughly revised the Customer Code of Conduct, using more welcoming and inclusive language, and updated the guidelines on consequences for violations of the Code, with an eye to consistency and reduced bias in enforcement.
  • In addition, overdue fines were eliminated in 2019 to help eliminate financial barriers to library access.

Initiatives related to the library as a workplace have included:

  • Added questions relating to DEI in all interviews with potential new hires.
  • Hired a consultant to complete a diversity climate survey of staff and following up on the survey results with staff.
  • Increased DEI-focused staff training. This initiative has started with training for all staff on bias, micro-messages, and intersectionality, and a course in Equity-Centered Library Leadership for all managers. Further training is ongoing.
  • Closing for a paid holiday each year in observance of Juneteenth.
  • With the help of a Human Resources consultant, reviewed personnel policies, hiring practices, and performance evaluation through a DEI lens, and implemented appropriate policy revisions.

Currently, the primary focus for the committee is continuing to explore ways to manage behavior in the library equitably and create a positive, welcoming public space for all.