Is ‘Opening our Doors’ enough? : Rethinking the purpose and use of EDI strategies and centring equity to create spaces and opportunities for underrepresented groups

Morley, Tom and Askari, Fabiha (2023) Is ‘Opening our Doors’ enough? : Rethinking the purpose and use of EDI strategies and centring equity to create spaces and opportunities for underrepresented groups. In: Academic Libraries North (ALN) Conference 2023, 2023-06-21 - 2023-06-22, St George's Centre.

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Abstract

This workshop will address the issue of equity in EDI strategies and ask if ‘Opening our Doors’ is truly enough to provide an inclusive, supportive and safe environment where everyone has a sense of belonging and feels able to contribute AND impact the culture of the workplace. Whilst ‘opening our doors’ is an essential first step in ensuring that libraries become more representative of the communities they are situated within, barriers continue to persist beyond that door which must be addressed. Our session will discuss how ‘opening our doors’ is comparable to attempts to reach equality – but cannot be equated to reaching for equity. In aiming for equity, everyone – including staff, students and wider community members – must be considered. Many libraries have developed EDI strategies which aim to give a voice to underrepresented groups, such as through positive action appointments. One example can be found in the SCONUL (2019) report on ‘BAME staff experiences of academic and research libraries’ which showed that only 53.7% of respondents “either ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that their workplace values equality and diversity and has an inclusive culture”. Therefore, is the emotional labour of these staff members being taken for granted? And do they feel valued beyond being a ‘token’ to their institutions? During the workshop, we will discuss the concept of equity and provide case studies of where equity has been considered at Lancaster University’s library. We will then split the audience into groups, provide them with a series of scenarios and ask them to consider what actions they could take to make these more equitable. This session will recognise that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all' approach and individual context of each institution must be considered.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Other)
Journal or Publication Title:
Academic Libraries North (ALN) Conference 2023 : Revolutionary thoughts: constructively disrupting the status quo in libraries for the new normal
ID Code:
221032
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 Jun 2024 14:15
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
06 Jun 2024 10:35