Reflecting on Library Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts 

Access and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are core values of the OHSU Library and library practice in general. The Library’s Diversity Committee serves as a coordinating and resource body, but our DEI efforts go beyond the committee and are incorporated in all library work. We collected some of these efforts to share with you, and we invite you to engage with us.

Collaborations to Create Community

  • Librarian Pam Pierce is collaborating with the School of Nursing on a grant to develop a digital image collection that will begin to provide teachers of health professions students access to the photographs they need so that their students can learn to recognize various pathophysiological conditions in skin of various colors, increase their awareness of issues related to health and diversity, and prepare them for more effective clinical work with their future patients.
  • The Library’s Diversity Committee works closely with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and one of our staff became an associate trainer in the OHSU Unconscious Bias program.
  • We also worked with the Students for Structural Change/Health Justice Co-Op to enable different room scheduling options for their multicultural space in the Robertson Life Sciences Building.
  • We worked with the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence and other area groups to develop a land acknowledgement for the Library and spoke it for the first time at the opening of our Native Voices exhibit.  While the physical exhibit ended March 10, you can access all of the content online at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nativevoices/index.html.
  • In support of the Alliance for Visible Diversity (AVDS), we purchased multi-user, online access to White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo for the AVDS book club.  We also have a print copy available for checkout.
  • We have organized and promoted many events and activities to support inclusion, diversity, equity, and access and would be happy to collaborate on others.
  • Displayed collections of books on several topics, including LGBTQ health, women’s health, and Black History Month, which was done in collaboration with the Black Employees Resources Group.
  • Expanded LGBTQ+ holdings and curated an exhibit on LGBTQ+ history at OHSU.
  • Our Oral History Program added three interviews focused on OHSU’s history of supporting transgender health.

Critical Library Practice

  • We are being reflective about our teaching, instruction and consultation practices, as well as our Library policies, and transforming them in ways that challenge power, privilege, and systems of oppression.
  • All Library staff completed OHSU’s Unconscious Bias training. We continue to reflect on and improve our recruitment practices to attract a more inclusive candidate pool by enhancing our advertising and reaching out to more institutions, and including a search advocate on our search committees.
  • Two of our library student workers published an open access article in the Oregon Library Association Quarterly on their perception of the Library’s experiences and efforts in support of DEI.

Removing Barriers and Sharing Resources

  • We attempted to make Library spaces on the 2nd and 4th floor more welcoming and accessible by providing more flexible furniture, such as height-adjustable tables, mobile tables and whiteboards, and a variety of software on our computers.
  • We kicked off a “library of things” to help inspire and engage people of different interests, backgrounds, and skill levels to create their own audio, video, and physical materials with 3D printing.
  • To remove financial barriers for those needing materials from other institutions, we made the GetItForMe (interlibrary loan) service available at no cost with no limits .

We at the OHSU Library are proud to share our efforts with you, and we recognize there is a lot of work still to be done. We strive to make your Library a place where everyone can feel comfortable and can find, access, and use our shared resources to learn about health. We also welcome your suggestions and feedback—please share with our Suggestion Box or contact us.

Leave a Reply