Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Summer 6-24-2022


The urge to diversify workplaces has spread nationwide. Although many institutions feel that formal statements and pledges are enough to satisfy the public outcry, actions such as setting up a direct plan to address the rejection of neutrality, to expand the access of materials, and actively hiring and promoting a racially diverse staff are less often seen. In America’s libraries in particular, good-natured sentiments about how a modern, socially diverse library should look are met with half-hearted efforts. While some libraries, such as the Oregon Library Association, are making significant strides towards their intended directions, others, such as the Rural Branch Library in Mississippi, continue to wallow behind by clinging onto a collection of books which promote racist ideologies. The collection at the Rural Branch Library is the result of many contributing factors, however the lack of acknowledgment of the harm these materials bring is the result of maintaining a neutral stance on race relations issues. Another example of this is the lack of high-quality resources available in other languages that can serve the portions of communities who are not native English speakers. This can be remedied with the growing number of digital resources that are available in multiple languages for patrons who speak languages other than English and be beneficial to all users by exposing them to contemporary and diverse literature. Lastly, for libraries to show they are truly committed to the cause of creating an inclusive environment, they must actively participate in recruiting and employing people of color.