Book Chapter or Section
For the library profession, diversity and inclusion have increasingly become part and parcel of upholding the fundamental values that librarianship promotes. As the ACRL Diversity Standards state:
"Diversity is an essential component of any civil soci- ety. It is more than a moral imperative; it is a global necessity. Everyone can benefit from diversity, and diverse populations need to be supported so they can reach their full potential for themselves and their communities."*
For librarians at the Leonard Lief Library, Lehman College, a new Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (DIWG) was created in early 2018 to foster and cultivate an equitable library space that serves students, faculty, and staff from varied backgrounds and experiences. The library’s working group aspired to align its work with a new CUNY-wide Council of Chief Librarians’ Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. This body endeavors to provide welcoming, accepting, and empowering spaces across CUNY libraries. Additionally, Leonard Lief Library faculty addressed new ways in which our library could facilitate more diverse and inclusive programming.
This chapter discusses several projects led by members of the Leonard Lief Library’s DIWG: the Human Library; a Diversity and Inclusion Zine Workshop; and the addition of an LGBTQ children’s book collection and a bilingual-bicultural children’s book collection. These examples and the resources created to support them (research guides, flyers, workshops, etc.) demonstrate commitment to serving our community by enabling equity through informative and educational opportunities and by advocating for social justice and inclusion through cultivation of a safe and welcoming library space.
*Association of College and Research Libraries, Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries (Chicago: Asscoation of College and Research Libraries, 2012).