ACRL Signature Initiative on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Poll Results

At the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the ACRL Leadership Council generated a robust list of suggested action items for the association to consider in conjunction with the development of a new Signature Initiative on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). As a follow up to the Midwinter Leadership Council meeting, and to engage the full membership around the initiative, the ACRL Board of Directors earlier this summer invited all members to complete a two-question poll to help shape and prioritize the work of the initiative and 849 ACRL members responded.

The top suggested action items for ACRL to address in the EDI Signature Initiative included:

Partner with library schools and/or institutions to support the recruitment of diverse individuals into library/information science programs. 12.69% 509
Actively work to diversify ACRL leadership and membership. 12.09% 485
Develop a toolkit (e.g. sandbox; resource list; resource repository; etc.) to support EDI training for institutions and individuals. 10.55% 423
Develop instruction/training on critical pedagogy and social justice issues. 9.40% 377
Evaluate existing residency programs, retention initiatives, and best practices in recruitment in academic libraries. 9.08% 364
Implement training on using diversity-related competency standards (e.g. Cultural Competencies for Academic Libraries). 8.35% 335

Topics members would find of most interest included:

Difficult conversations (e.g. microaggressions) 17.02% 415
Cultural competencies 14.15% 345
Guidance on fair recruitment practices/implicit bias 12.76% 311
Creating/defining inclusive spaces and programming 12.26% 299
Specialized recruitment and retention strategies 11.77% 287

Additional comments were provided by 160 respondents. In general, the comments supported the most popular options selected in the poll. The emphasis of the comments was on improving/supporting retention efforts, establishing recruitment programs including efforts at the undergraduate level to enhance recruitment, training on EDI along with cultural humility and awareness, addressing salary inequities and the critical need for permanent/full-time opportunities, partnering within ALA and with other organizations committed to EDI, recognizing diversity as a multi-faceted issue (gender, ethnicity, culture, class, religion, age, etc.), and the need for changes in the overall culture and the development of transformative leadership to facilitate these changes.

Multiple respondents addressed issues around accessibility, both in physical and virtual environments. Several respondents questioned the value of this initiative and one called for ACRL to “ponder its readiness” before proceeding. One action on the list, developing workshops or RoadShow-like activities on EDI topics, was not a top result and generated many comments. Some respondents supported the idea of a roadshow or workshops; others were adamantly opposed.

The ACRL Board is considering fully the poll results and comments as we move forward with the EDI Signature Initiative. If you would like to provide additional input, please contact members of the Board EDI Working Group listed below. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who participated in the poll and provided their feedback. Your input and comments are invaluable as we continue to develop this important initiative.

ACRL Board of Directors EDI Working Group

Lori Critz,
Emily Daly,
Lauren Pressley,
LeRoy LaFleur,
Beth McNeil,