Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kennedy Library
Library Diversity Statement
Systemic racism and inequity persist in United States culture, including in our institution and organization. In the context of academic and scholarly pursuits at Cal Poly and activities across academic library networks, the library has the responsibility to encourage, build, and sustain a just and democratic society; to engage in comprehensive racial and social justice practices; and to be accountable to the campus community and each other.
Through education and action, the library will disrupt the processes and structures that encourage inequity and racism and create an equitable and inclusive environment where all people feel welcome, seen, heard, and represented, especially those who are from groups that have been historically or are currently marginalized or disenfranchised because of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, social class, religion, national origin, and other social and cultural identities.
As a library community, we will interrogate our role in sustaining an oppressive and discriminatory culture, re-examine power structures, and take direct action to confront and dismantle systems of oppression and the conditions under which they persist.
Creating a library that is more diverse, equitable, and inclusive requires that we look openly and critically at any racist or otherwise oppressive structures, systems, and practices in the library, and take impactful, comprehensive actions. We also recognize that these types of structural barriers may not be readily obvious without introspection. We have generated a strategic, integrated, data-driven, people-centered DEI Action Plan, which will guide us over the next five years in forming a more diverse, equitable, and anti-racist workplace, and an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming environment for all library employees, visitors, and campus and community patrons.
Library Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Library Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI Committee) is composed of representatives from all Library departments and plays a leadership role in coordinating the Robert E. Kennedy Library’s goals to create a more diverse, equitable, and anti-racist workplace, and an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming environment for all Library employees, visitors, and campus and community users.
Library DEI Committee members, 2023-2024
- Danielle Daugherty
- Tricia Kobielusz
- Mercedes Rutherford-Patten
- Laura Sorvetti
- Russ White
Contact the DEI Committee: ude.yloplacnull@ied-bil
Library Vision, Mission, and ValuesVision
We connect people and inspire learning.
We are a Learn by Doing library. We help every member of the Cal Poly community engage in open and informed inquiry, and contribute through creation, innovation, and collaboration, to the quality of life of our community.
We value learning, innovation, and the diversity of individual and group experiences and perspectives that make our community sustainable, compassionate, and resilient.
These values commit us to being open, responsive, and inclusive in the relationships we build across the entire Cal Poly campus and community, including our region, state, and beyond.
Strategic GoalsGoal 1 - Assess and secure our financial viability and sustainability through advancement and fiscally-sound funding and spending models
Goal 1A – Develop long-term, sustainable funding models based on projections and trends
Goal 1B – Strengthen our advancement efforts
Goal 2A – Develop strategic framework for digital infrastructure
Goal 2B – Create innovative service models for technology services
Goal 2C – Define and track the qualitative value of library services and programs
Goal 3A – Develop a strategy to integrate programmatic library instruction in the revised GE curriculum
Goal 3B – Actively participate in the development of the integrative model for student success (Graduation Initiative)
Goal 4A – Develop a strategy to foster and model an inclusive environment for the campus community
Goal 4B – Create mechanisms to consistently communicate, coordinate, and recognize our efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion
Goal 5A – Create library communities of practice which transcend departmental boundaries
Goal 5B – Provide internal recognition, mentorship, and career development pathways
Goal 5C – Develop library student supervising best practices and expectations and work towards building mentorship and support programs
Strategic Plan Implementation
The Library Management Team strives to make the library’s strategic planning process participatory, inclusive, and representative. We value the ideas and contributions of all employees and we ask for everyone’s involvement in developing the strategic directions of the library. Collectively we will be iterative and continue to improve the process by evaluating our activities, seeking feedback, and making improvements along the way.Strategic Goal Sponsors
The Library Management Team (LMT) members serve as sponsors for the strategic initiatives and will oversee all aspects of the development and implementation of the plan. This includes prioritizing the implementation of goals, obtaining resources to achieve success, and making modifications to the initiatives as necessary.
Each strategic goal has two library management team sponsors. Sponsors will serve as the liaison between the strategic goal team and LMT; to answer questions and provide clarification; and to assist with big picture context. LMT sponsors guide the process, but do not make recommendations or provide solutions. This will help to maintain the inclusive and participatory aspects of the process.
Teams will develop specific recommendations regarding the topic at hand to be brought back to the Library Management Team (LMT) or the corresponding unit (e.g., Academic Services or LIT). Teams may be posed a question to investigate, a specific topic to research, or a broad topic on which to ideate. Expectations are to participate in the meetings, and subsequent committee activities, to think broadly and deeply about the topic, and to consider external and internal stakeholders to engage as necessary. Strategic goals teams are advisory in nature and not final decision makers. The role of library strategic teams is not to find a solution, but rather to provide direction and make recommendations to the library units and people responsible for driving solutions.
Teams may perform activities that include but are not limited to:
- Benchmarking (what are others doing and how do we compare?)
- Research of Best Practices
- Data Gathering
- Inventories of current practices, obstacles, challenges, opportunities
- SOAR Analysis (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results)
- Holding listening sessions and soliciting feedback with stakeholders (library staff, external constituents). May be open forums, drop in lunches, informal polls at Coffee with LMT, quick online surveys, etc.