Clark Library and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion | University of Portland

Clark Library and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Clark Library is committed to creating spaces, services, and workplaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Our shared value of Respect, from our Statement of Ethics, states that we “recognize the worth of each person and foster an environment of inclusiveness.” Guided by this belief, the library has made the following commitments:

  • Belonging. We will create a place of academic and cultural belonging by evaluating library practices and spaces for unseen barriers. We will provide opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to contribute to the space and services so that the library's work centers on their identities, abilities, and needs.
  • Learning. We commit to continual learning and seeking to understand the changes in our environment that affect our students, staff, and faculty, and to create conversations and feedback opportunities that will guide our work. We will share what we learn with our campus community.
  • Value. We will create and maintain spaces and services where students, faculty, and staff, including library workers, feel valued. This includes acknowledging the labor upon which our work and institution is built and reflecting diverse identities, abilities, and experiences in our teaching and collections.

 Ongoing Work:

  • Clark Library Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Committee (CLEDIC) - The CLEDIC provides leadership in designing and assessing initiatives that advance EDI and anti-oppression work.

  • Clark Library Accessibility Committee - This committee makes recommendations to improve inclusion and access for everyone based on its evaluation of Library spaces, services, and resources. Recently, this committee revised the library’s Accessibility web page and is planning a survey to improve library services and climate for students, faculty, and staff with disabilities. 

  • Collection development for diverse voices -  The Library is evaluating options for collection auditing and retrospective collection-building to broaden the diversity of creators and topics within our current collection.  
  • Ongoing learning opportunities for library faculty and staff - Dedicated work time and individual professional goals encourage each employee of the library to better their understanding of the needs of our campus community, the history of oppression that shapes higher education and libraries, and the strategies that we can employ to create a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible space.

Recent Projects:

  • Anti-Oppression Guide - This guide provides users with resources on how to approach every person with dignity, regardless of race, sex/gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, class, or political perspective.
  • Collection Development Policy - We have revised the Collection Development Policy to provide a clear mandate to purchase materials from underrepresented voices. 
  • Equity lens project - In Spring 2021, using a worksheet based on the NAO Equity & Inclusion Lens Guide, all library staff and faculty examined practices in their area of work to determine ways that the library can be more equitable in its application of policies and more inclusive in its service.
  • Hiring Practices Manual - The Hiring Committee completed an extensive review and standardization of the Library’s hiring practices, with the goal of mitigating bias in the recruitment process and creating more inclusive and positive experiences for candidates. The full set of guidelines went into effect in Summer 2021 and will be reassessed and refined yearly. 
  • EDI and library ethics curriculum for library student workers  - In Fall 2021, we piloted professional development for student workers, with the goal of improving their knowledge of inclusive customer service practices and library ethics. This curriculum was well-received, and we will make it an ongoing part of our student worker development.