One of our core values here at the University of Houston Libraries focuses on diversity and inclusion. We respect all aspects of diversity and create an inclusive virtual and physical environment, for all learners, researchers, and library staff. We are responsive in providing spaces, services, programs, and resources that promote and value diversity.
As such, it is essential for us to embody these important values with next-level action. I am pleased to announce that a newly formed Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI) for the UH Libraries will soon convene. The Libraries recently conducted a ClimateQUAL®: Organizational Climate and Diversity Assessment survey to ascertain staff perceptions of the Libraries’ commitment to the principles of diversity, organizational policies and procedures, and staff attitudes, aiming to better understand the impact that perceptions have on library service quality. The formation of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion was an initiative spurred by the very positive experience I had with the Diversity Committee at my former place of work, a request by one of our new librarians, and as an outgrowth of our recent ClimateQUAL® assessment.
And it is, quite simply, the right thing to do. CODI will create programs and services which lead toward a richer and more inclusive experience for our students, faculty, and employees in support of the UH Diversity and Inclusion Statement.
Specifically, CODI will:
- address issues and strengthen engagement while embracing a broad interpretation of diversity
- increase awareness and sensitivity among employees, connect with University diversity offices and student groups, and help recruit and retain a diverse workforce in an inclusive environment
- collaborate with the Assessment and Statistics Librarian to perform climate assessments and make recommendations
- submit an annual report to the Office of the Dean
In the spirit of inclusivity, an open call was made for volunteers interested in serving on the committee. I was very pleasantly overwhelmed by the widespread enthusiasm shown by our outstanding group of professionals. We had twice as many people interested in serving on the committee than we could accommodate at this time, and everyone will have plenty of opportunities to engage in this important work in the near future. It is a heartening expression of the values that we champion.
The members of the inaugural Committee on Diversity and Inclusion Committee are:
Andrea Malone (chair), Modern and Classical Languages and Ethnic Studies Librarian
Frederick Young, Systems Analyst 3
Margaret Dunn, Senior Library Specialist
Matthew Moore, Senior Music Library Specialist
Julie Grob, Special Collections Coordinator for Instruction
Lisa Cruces, Hispanic Collections Archivist
Annie Wu, Head of Metadata and Digitization Services
Orolando Duffus, Business Librarian
Shawn Vaillancourt, Education Librarian
I would like to thank the committee members for their willingness to serve; I know they will do great work.