Library DEIA Initiatives

Yale Library’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is longstanding, with staff engaging in and leading related efforts across the library for many years. In addition to our DEIA-related staff initiatives, resources, and services, below you will find information on related committees, library guides, and initiatives that help make our events, spaces, resources, and services more equitable, inclusive, and accessible to all.

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Committees, Working Groups, and Projects
Advisory Committee on Library Staff Diversity and Inclusion

The Advisory Committee on Library Staff Diversity and Inclusion is charged with informing and advising on diversity and inclusion in Yale Library. Particular areas of emphasis are a climate/culture of mutual respect and equity and the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff. Contact Yale Library DEIA for more information. 

Bass Library Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Collections Initiative

This team seeks to examine Bass Library collections (~80,000 titles) to ensure equity, diversity, and inclusion and promote social justice; review reconstituted Bass Library collections to ensure representation of marginalized authors and perspectives, and make changes to approved plans and firm ordering as necessary; use the Reading Resilience Project and other methods to promote these works and Bass Library’s role as a gateway to the larger university collections; consult with colleagues who have done similar work; review the literature; collect extant reading lists; and purchase additional titles. Contact Kelly Blanchat for more information.

Library Accessibility Initiatives Task Force

The Library Accessibility Initiatives Task Force is charged with completing various projects that strengthen the library’s accessibility efforts related to communications, staff training and resources, assessment and evaluation, and policy development. Contact Yale Library DEIA for more information. 

Library Staff Climate Survey Task Force

The Library Staff Climate Survey Task Force is responsible for implementing a climate survey through which the Library Executive Committee (LEC); the Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility; and the Library Advisory Committee on Library Staff Diversity and Inclusion can learn about staff members’ work experiences and needs regarding DEIA. Survey results will directly inform the library’s action and accountability plans for improving our staff’s experiences in this area. Contact Yale Library DEIA for more information.

Lillian Goldman Law Library Antiracism Committee

The members of the Yale Law School’s Lillian Goldman Law Library Anti-Racism Task Force affirm its commitment to identifying, addressing, and uprooting all forms of racial and ethnic bias in the law library and law library profession, and to educating and empowering our staff to realize this collective goal. While we understand that our staff’s anti-racist journeys are individualized and that bias can be implicit and unintentional, perpetuated by structural disparate impacts, we are mindful and resolute that in order to achieve an anti-racist and ethnically unbiased community, we need to purposefully recognize, discuss, confront, and address those issues by continually reassessing our library collections, policies, workplace guidelines, practices, and their implications within the broader communities with which we engage. Contact Shana Jackson for more information.

Reparative Archival Description Working Group

The Reparative Archival Description (RAD) Working Group is charged by the Archival and Manuscript Description Committee (AMDECO) with creating draft recommendations regarding principles and practices for reparative archival description work. Reparative archival description aims to remediate or contextualize potentially outdated or harmful language used in archival description and to create archival description that is accurate, inclusive, and community-centered. For more information on RAD’s work, see the RAD LibGuide.

The Reading Resilience Project

In 2015, during a wave of student activism aimed at making Yale more inclusive, Bass Library partnered with student groups to create the Reading Resilience Project. The project aims to highlight voices of commonly underrepresented peoples in library collections. The books you find on this site are based entirely on Yale student, staff, and faculty recommendations.

Yale Archival Reading Group (YARG)

The Yale Archival Reading Group (YARG) provides an informal space for Yale Library staff and allied colleagues to discuss readings in the archives and library fields. Discussions are wide-ranging, and reading topics have included archival management and principles; ethical stewardship; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and labor issues. For more information, visit the YARG wiki or contact Alison Clemens.

Yale University Library Center for Preservation and Conservation DEIA Task Force

In support of the library’s DEIA goals, the Center for Preservation & Conservation Services (CPCS) formed a task force in early 2021 to lead efforts on workplace culture, staff development and supporting our commitments to diversity partnerships like the HBCU Library Alliance and New Haven Promise toward greater diversity in conservation. In addition to working in a new cross-collection and highly collaborative format for hosting trainees at all levels in conservation, our most significant efforts so far have been conducting a department-wide cultural equity audit and hosting a series of discussions based on that report’s recommendations which will inform our development of our center’s mission statement, goals, and hiring practices. Please contact Contact Laura O’Brien-Miller for more information. 

DEIA-Related Library and Resource Guides
Advisory Committee on Library Staff Diversity and Inclusion Library Guide

The Advisory Committee on Library Staff Diversity & Inclusion Library Guide was compiled by its committee members to represent a variety of diverse backgrounds, but we certainly do not embody all identities. While we have done our best to include all perspectives, we recognize there may still be implicit bias. We welcome suggestions on how we can make improvements to this guide. For recommendations on additional resources, questions, or concerns, contact Courtney Brombosz.

Library Accessibility Services

Yale Library is an important research and educational resource for the students, faculty, and staff of the Yale community. In order to ensure all users equitable access to the library’s collections, public services, and web resources, we have developed our Library Accessibility Services website to enable users with disabilities to take full advantage of the library’s offerings.

Library Information Technology Accessibility Resources

Making your website accessible means your online resource is usable by the widest variety of people possible, including those who use screen readers, cannot use a mouse, or who may be on a slow wireless connection. The User Experience group recommends library website and subject guide creators review these accessibility guidelines so that you understand the major components of web accessibility.

Medical Library DEIB Resource Guide

The Medical Library DEIB Resource Guide is a collection of resources relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Yale. Many of these resources are curated by medical librarians in partnership with various departments in the Yale medical center.

Music Resources on Diversity and Underrepresentation

These Music Resources on Diversity and Underrepresentation present focused resources for increasing diversity in music performances and research, particularly in the Western classical tradition. Many of the general resources on the main Music research guide also include information on, or scores and recordings of, composers from underrepresented groups. The library has recently increased its holdings of scores and recordings of music by composers from underrepresented groups and welcomes suggestions from students, faculty, and staff of additional works. See also the Ethnomusicology guide for resources focusing on traditional and popular music from around the world.

Oral History of American Music Collections Guide: Music in the Black Church

Music and the Black Church is a collection of video interviews with leaders of music in the Black church, including pastors, music ministers, gospel artists, and choir directors. These interviews were conducted by students in Professor Braxton Shelley’s gospel courses at Yale University.  This is an ongoing and ever-expanding effort.  Please note: interviews with other gospel figures may be found in the Major Figures in American Music collection of the Oral History of American Music (OHAM).

Yale Child Study Center Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Guide

This Yale Child Study Center Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Guide is designed to help clinicians and researchers develop cultural competencies in clinical care. The content found in this resource can be used to inform clinical practice on racial themes in therapy, as well as to support children and families in navigating cultural issues.

Library DEIA Statements
Message from the University Librarian

“Since my arrival in July 2020, I have committed to putting equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility at the heart of all we do at Yale Library. Our goal is essential and ongoing—and it will never be finished. I am heartened and humbled by the energy and creativity of my colleagues across the library bring to this shared effort…” Read the full statement from Barbara Rockenbach, Stephen F. Gates’ 68 University Librarian.

Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description

We are committed to creating archival description—including finding aids, catalog records, and other metadata—that is inclusive, respectful, and does not cause harm to those who interact with our collections.   The Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description provides guidelines to remediate existing archival description and create anti-oppressive archival description in the future.

Manuscripts and Archives Statement of Affirmation

Manuscripts and Archives developed this statement in 2020 affirming its commitment to adhere to Yale Library community values and to address bias and discrimination in the repository’s collections, services, spaces, and workplace.  View the Manuscripts and Archives statement. (Manuscripts and Archives became part of the Beinecke Library in 2022.)

Collection Development Philosophy

The Collection Development Philosophy anchors the library’s collection development efforts. It was adopted in 2013 and revised in 2021. 

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