Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) in our Collections
In order to foster inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in the building and stewarding of the UConn Library’s collections, we:
- Recognize collections as a living ecosystem that encompasses collections content as well as the people, services, infrastructure, and engagement activities that enable the usefulness of that content.
- See collections as reflections of the communities we serve and the systems within which we work. We strive to subvert systems of oppression. We approach collections work iteratively, critically, holistically, and flexibly.
- Envision a paradigm shift toward taking an IDEA-first approach to collections work, rather than treating IDEA as an afterthought.
- Work collaboratively and collectively to advance and concretize IDEA values at UConn and with our global partners through all aspects of collection development, access, and stewardship.
- Engage and empower staff with responsibilities for collections at all levels of the organization to encourage and provide space for them to advance IDEA from wherever they are.
We offer the following definitions to create a shared understanding of core concepts in the context of library collections work.
- Inclusion: Creating, sustaining, and making accessible library collections in which individuals or groups can be and feel represented, respected, supported, and valued.
- Diversity: Stewarding collections that reflect the heterogeneity of perspectives, lived experiences, and cultural and social aspects of our communities, and support their information needs.
- Equity: Striving to provide just and fair access to collections for our communities, and to identify and dismantle structural barriers to this access.
- Accessibility: Eliminating barriers and creating conditions to ensure that our communities are able to use our library collections.
- Collections: Content (inclusive of all formats and types) that libraries acquire, steward, and provide access to, along with the services, infrastructure, and partnerships that facilitate use of that content.
The IDEA in Collections Working Group started as a grassroots effort in 2021 by library staff. The group sought to craft a set of guiding principles and pathways for fostering inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) in all aspects of the UConn Library’s special and scholarly collections.