Developing an Inclusive Community at University of Glasgow Library

Statement of Intent

The University of Glasgow Library aims to create an environment where all staff and students - regardless of any protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010* - are welcome and included. People should feel they are represented in our collections, study spaces and exhibitions, that UofG Library is their library, and that discriminatory attitudes and behaviour are not tolerated. We aim to develop an inclusive community.

This is in alignment with the University of Glasgow’s Equality and Diversity Policy which states ‘The University aims to create a learning and working environment based on fostering good relations between all people, with a shared commitment to promoting respect for all, and challenging and preventing stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and harassment’ and supports the recommendation that the University ‘strive to increase the racial diversity of students and staff’ as made by the University of Glasgow History of Slavery Steering Committee in 2018, and subsequently supported by the publications of the Understanding Racism, Transforming University Cultures report and associated Action Plan in 2021.

* Protected characteristics include age, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, race, religion or belief and gender reassignment.

Equality, diversity and inclusion working group

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Working Group was formed in 2020 and aims to broaden the diversity of the library and improve our practices to ensure equality and inclusion for all. Steps taken so far include:

  • Gathering and analysing data to better understand the demographics of UofG Staff, UofG Library Staff and UofG student populations in relation to the wider population demographics of Glasgow and Scotland. We know that the first step in working towards achieving our aim is to consider how our staff reflect the diversity we hope to encourage and support within the Library Services
  • Working in partnership with Organisational Development to create staff engagement sessions to build core skills and embed inclusive communication into our teams. As of May 2021, two pilot sessions titled ‘Developing Your Inclusive Community’ have been conducted and feedback from the 26 attendees is now being assessed

The EDI Working Group is in the process of creating a roadmap for 2021 – 2022. Some steps we plan to take are:

  • Continue working with Organisational Development on a cascading methodology for ‘Developing Your Inclusive Community’, including discussion packs for managers to encourage team reflection
  • Establish a programme of events to support the education of UofG Library staff around racism, discrimination and diversity, and develop a suite of reading lists related to this programme of events
  • Identify and publicly acknowledge bias in our legacy catalogue data, collecting practices and institutional processes and make plans for change
  • Cascade the University Senior Management Group approach to taking responsibility for change
  • Identify opportunities to widen access to the information professions at UofG (in partnership with Information Studies and professional bodies)
  • Begin to investigate methods of reporting on the diversity of our current collections
  • Investigate appropriate ways to consult with staff and student bodies around broadening the diversity of the library, committing to an ongoing conversation about how we can continue to develop an inclusive community

We aim to publish a full Roadmap soon, which will provide more detail, evidence our ongoing work and demonstrate our commitment to developing an inclusive community.

Inappropriate terminology statement

When searching the collections you may discover items which contain inappropriate, outdated, or offensive terminology in either the content or descriptions. This terminology is often not changed or updated in our catalogues as it demonstrates the attitudes and language contemporary to the creation or description of the item. It does not reflect the current attitudes of University of Glasgow Library. If you would like to discuss any specific examples with us, please contact us and the relevant member of staff will reply.