The Libraries/Instructional Design Studio at the University of Detroit Mercy takes as its own the University's Mission and Core Values statements which emphasize the dignity and uniqueness of each person, and the contribution and strength of the diverse community at large. Commitment to diversity is a responsibility of the library profession, and of all personnel, faculty, and administrators of the Libraries/Instructional Design Studio.
The Libraries/Instructional Design Studio pursues diversity by recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, and other personnel practices, by developing and providing access to diverse collections, by teaching and interacting as information professionals, and by funding all these priorities. The Libraries/Instructional Design Studio focuses on quality service through sensitivity to cultural differences, flexibility to individual learning styles, effective dialogues, and the communication of accurate information.
Diversity in Personnel
The goal of Libraries/Instructional Design Studio personnel is to attract and retain qualified individuals who will contribute to the Mission and Core Values of the University. It is important that the composition of Libraries/Instructional Design Studio personnel reflect the University's diverse student population. In accordance with University policy, qualified library personnel will be sought from the Sisters of Mercy, the Society of Jesus, the African-American population, women, other minority populations, and all other qualified persons.
Diversity in Collections
Through a commitment to the Mission and Core Values, the curriculum of the University promotes diversity. In support of the curriculum and the educational needs of the University community, the Libraries/Instructional Design Studio strive to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which may be unorthodox or unpopular with the majority. This effort is part of the University's goal to open students to academic and personal enlightenment.
Diverse library collections are developed and maintained through:
- Opposition to "silent censorship" practices during selection and de-selection of materials, as supported by the American Library Association's statement on Freedom to Read
- Acquisition of materials that reflect a diversity of perspectives within academic disciplines, with a priority given to those materials which provide the collection with a balance of viewpoints
- Evaluation of the Libraries collections to ensure that they represent current developments and provide balanced coverage, in keeping with the University's curricular goal of "Critical Thinking Across the Core"
- Provision for easy and fair access to local and remote electronic information sources that support diversity, by combining professional library expertise with emerging electronic information technologies.
Library Educators Teach Diversity
The Libraries/Instructional Design Studio librarians and staff recognize diverse learning styles and value the importance of being equally accessible to all learners, including each other. Personnel are sensitive to the prohibitions to learning, such as cultural, language, or disability barriers. Libraries/Instructional Design Studio personnel strive to engage all patrons in the learning process, and to facilitate the acquisition of research skills by creating a non-intimidating, interactive environment. The Libraries/Instructional Design Studio is committed to providing an environment where questions, practices, language barriers, and rights of others are respected, where each individual is acknowledged and welcomed. At all times, Libraries/Instructional Design Studio personnel strive to maintain an exceptional level of interest and enthusiasm, courtesy and sensitivity, respect and trust.
Funding for Diversity Development
The Libraries/Instructional Design Studio recognizes the importance of providing funds to support the diversity mission in the following ways:
- Collection Development funds are designated to build balanced diverse collections in subject areas that support and enhance University programs and values
- Travel funds are used to send Libraries/Instructional Design Studio personnel to conferences, workshops, and meetings that define, describe, and promote diversity
- Technology funds are used for the continual upgrading of electronic technologies, which provide access to sensitive subjects, bring together divergent and contrary opinions, serve as sounding boards for unconventional ideas, and promote an awareness of diversity
- Grant funds are continuously sought from external sources to provide forums, workshops, seminars and presentations that promote the diversity mission within the Libraries/Instructional Design Studio.