Collection Development Diversity Statement
The Collection Development Department of the Collection Strategies and
Services Division of the University of Maryland Libraries adheres to the
University of Maryland Diversity Policy and upholds its guidelines and
implements its initiatives as we contemplate the selection of resources and
provide services that support the instruction, learning and research of all
segments of our academic community. We are committed to the initiatives of the
Libraries’ Diversity Advisory Committee.
Defining diversity takes on
multiple dimensions and expands as we grow in our understanding of its
complexity. “It is not just based on visible characteristics and demographics;
it is about diversity of thought, diversity in approach, and diversity in
ideas.” (1) Harris. (8/21/2014) In order to provide excellent services and
resources, it is imperative that we fully comprehend the many facets and
dimensions of diversity. In the university community “education is about
intellectual diversity.” (2) (A.Hudson-Ward). (8/8/2014).
address issues of strategic thinking and planning, values-based
diversity has become a critical component. We not only look at the
traditional dimensions but we need to add value to the differences as advocated
for a healthy multi-generational workplace. Communication styles differ as well
as technology familiarity and how we interact with its application in
exploration of resources and services.
If we want to ensure our future,
then our profession has to reflect and protect the rights of all people in order
to bring about change in our diverse communities. Collection strategies and
services serve as the foundation for learning and give the information seeker
tools to do whatever is of excellence. It must be a community service whether it
is for students, faculty and staff or for the greater good of our communities,
cities, states and nation.
In our selection process to support academic
course offerings, resources must reflect the many facets and dimensions of
diversity. From ethnicity, race, age, attitudes, behaviors, sexual orientation
and culture to fiscal planning, resources and communication, they all count in
how we interact. To say that one is color blind or unbiased would not be
truthful but the goal should be to work on our abilities to be open, receptive
We envision our collections as a way to bridge the gap
and find familiar roads towards discovery as we encourage lifelong learners who
engage in critical inquiry. Our collection development priorities and practices
must mirror and ensure literacy as an integral part of curriculum being
implemented, offered, taught, studied and researched. In addition, collection
strategies and services must be comprehensive and ongoing so that it enables
tellers to keep telling the story through their study and research. When we
think of structures or a system for discovery and access; opportunities will
abound for inclusiveness and acceptance thereby resulting in responsible and
active citizenship not only in our university community but the world.
Assessing Diversity in Our Collections
has developed eleven Cultural Competency Standards that must be incorporated
into each of our library infrastructures; from policy making, administration, to
managerial practice. These must all be utilized within the framework of an
institution’s mission, vision and
Cultural Competence is not stagnant. It is free flowing and requires
constant assessment of the various changes taking place. The ACRL Cultural
Competency standards are the most current tool to use in the academic library as
we assess our ongoing challenges of building an inclusive community through
Standards on Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries provides clear
definition of what Cultural Competence is as well as a specific
standard that addresses the issue of collection development.
ACRL Definition of Cultural Competence is a congruent set of
behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work
effectively in crosscultural situations; the process by which individuals and
systems respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures,
languages, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and other diversity
factors in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the worth of
individuals, families, and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of
(National Association of Social Workers, 2001).
ACRL Standard #4 addresses issues of collection development, programs and
Development of collections, programs, and services is that
Librarians and library staff shall develop collections and provide programs and
services that are inclusive of the needs of all persons in the community the
This is interpreted to mean:
Widespread changes in the linguistic and cultural fabric of
library populations, coupled with the increasing sophistication of information
technology, both require and make possible new approaches to the development of
library collections and the provision of inclusive community-wide services.
Upholding a commitment to cultural competence requires ensuring equitable access
to collections and library services that is mindful of these changes.
Librarians and library staff need to learn how to detect and prevent
exclusion of diverse constituents from service opportunities and seek to create
opportunities for constituents, matching their needs with culturally competent
services or adapting services to better meet the culturally unique needs of
constituents. Furthermore, they need to foster policies and procedures that help
ensure access to collections that reflect varying cultural beliefs.
For those responsible for the development and management of library
collections and/or the provision of library programs and services, this
- Providing an equitable basis for purchasing materials and providing
programs and services.
- Ensuring that consideration of the needs of historically oppressed,
underrepresented, and underserved groups is integral to collection development
and management and the provision of programs and services. Regularly assessing
the adequacy of existing collections, programs, and services to ensure they are
reflective of the diversity of the library’s constituent populations.
- Regularly reviewing the current and emergent demographic trends for the
library’s constituent populations to inform collection development and
management and the provision of programs and services.
- Providing increased accessibility through cataloging by allowing natural
language words and advocating for changes in the LOC heading
- Creating and advocating for the creation of programs and services that
are reflective of the cultural heritage, cultural backgrounds, and social
identities of the library’s constituent populations.
- Including constituents as major stakeholders in decision-making and
advisory entities and the planning, development, and evaluation of collections,
programs, and services.
Regular assessment of collections should be a well-defined process that
includes all collections according to the
Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries (2012).
Revised Draft 8/11/2015; Reviewed and Approved by Collection
Development Council 9/1/15