We publicly oppose racism, discrimination, and oppression in all forms. We honor and respect the dignity of all persons, stand against racism, and commit ourselves to the building of a more just and humane future.

We believe information is powerful and has the ability to transform minds and lives. We strive to offer diverse collections and inclusive programming to amplify marginalized voices and promote justice and understanding. Black Lives Matter.

Davidson’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Davidson College believes fundamentally in the dignity and worth of every human being, and we are committed to assisting students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service. Cultivating a broadly diverse community is crucial to our educational mission and purpose.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Selected diversity, equity, and inclusion statements and resources from library professional organizations.

E.H. Little Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals (Fall 2020- Spring 2021)

The College’s Commission on Race and Slavery report, released August 2020, asks the community to search for truth in “building a comprehensive understanding of the college’s own history, which is intertwined with the institution and legacies of slavery and enslaved person.” The role of library professionals as leaders and partners in this search for truth cannot be underestimated, whether through the development of research projects investigating and acknowledging the college’s history with slavery and race, the creation of educational exhibitions and websites, curation of public programs, development of collections, or work with community partners. The Commission report supports our mission to engage crucially with the past to understand our present and inform our future. Specifically, the following recommendations are directly aligned with the library’s mission and goals.

  • Comprehensive research about the founding of the college, made public through the library archives and a public-facing website.
  • Educational programming open to the campus and community.
  • Liaison work with community organizations. 
  • Support of faculty and student projects that transform key spaces into interactive sites for exploring the legacies of slavery, how ideas of race emerge, and why racism persists.
  • Development of intellectual principles for ethical research and scholarship in the area of race of slavery.

In addition to the above recommendations, the following organizational goals have been identified as priorities for the coming academic year:

Foster a welcoming and inclusive learning environment through our collections, outreach, and collaborations. 

  • Develop and implement a plan for ongoing diversity audit of the library’s print collections. 
  • Redesign the “D-Room” and Rare Book Room to be more inclusive and welcoming to all students (i.e. through art, exhibits, diversity of materials, programming in the space). 
  • Identify and create pathways for Archives & Special Collections staff to engage both with the college administration and directly with communities on issues of inclusion and representation in college archives and on decentering whiteness as the default point of reference for collecting, describing, and interpreting archival materials. 
  • Collaborate with faculty and students in the addition of diverse library collections.

Establish sustainable initiatives and develop anti-racist practices to support dialogue across differences and advance intercultural competence.  

  • Create and implement a plan for centering Black authors, anti-racism literature, and Black history at Davidson, in the library and archival collections, resources, and stories we spotlight throughout the year.
  • Highlight and promote examples of digital scholarship at Davidson that center on Black history at Davidson.
  • Continue to expand upon the library’s Anti-racism Resources resource guide to serve as a guide for the College. 
  • Explore opportunities to connect with campus and community partners (i.e. the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative) to support engagement with one another around difficult societal issues. 
  • Create awareness of bias/racism in technology at Davidson College via special programming. Formalize a schedule/process of bias conversations at the library. 
  • In response to the Commission on Race and Slavery’s call for faculty, scholars, and archives staff to “develop ethical as well as intellectual principles for research and scholarship” in problematic areas of college history, engage in and offer professional development and training in these areas. 
    • Develop and lead a reading/discussion group related to DEI in the archives for staff, faculty, and students. 
    • Continue to involve students, staff, and faculty in contributing to the departmental blog and use this platform to inform the College community about institutional history. 
    • Provide opportunities for the college community to explore ethical and intellectual principles for archival research in problematic areas of college history.
  • Propose a plan for integrating information literacy frames into the first-year experience, with an emphasis on information and social justice. 

Lead and implement initiatives to advance open, inclusive, and equitable access to information. 

  • Work directly with faculty and students with the creation of anti-racism digital scholarship and assist with ways to publish work in the open.
  • Profile students, staff and faculty members engaging in this type of scholarship on the Digital Showcase webpage and social media platforms.
  • Develop and lead conversations related to DEI in the archives for staff, faculty, and students.
  • Lead and support the ongoing development of “Stories Yet To Be Told” projects.
  • Revise policies for handling metadata that is offensive and outdated; Expand use of inclusive metadata.  
  • Integrate social justice into library instruction (i.e. algorithm biases, biases in subject headings and/or call number systems, or information access to resources by marginalized populations).
  • Explore and implement solutions that meet the increasing demands of textbook affordability and equitable access.
    • Create programming for faculty focused on textbook affordability and access (via the Scholarly Communication Group and in partnership with CTL). 
    • Implement Leganto platform to increase accessibility of course materials. 
    • Explore the acquisition of inclusive E-Resources & expanded use of open educational resources.
    • Join and contribute to share resource collaboratives (e.g. HathiTrust).
    • Engage with and support open access initiatives (e.g. Lever Press).

Expand our commitment to recruit, hire, and retain a diverse and engaged library staff.

  • Create an onboarding plan for new staff related to our commitment to become an antiracist institution.
  • Make informed recommendations for improving our hiring process in the library to be more inclusive and welcoming to diverse candidates.
  • Participate in the Duke Endowment Libraries Diversity Fellowship program (currently under development).  

Expand efforts to identify, digitize, and make Davidson’s unique collections, especially those that provide opportunities for engaging with our complicated history, discoverable across the globe.  

  • Identify, process, and digitize collections that are often requested and/or support the work of student, faculty, and staff researchers, especially as they relate to the Commission on Race and Slavery. 
  • Responsibly allocate remaining JEC digitization and outreach funds in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the department and around campus. 
  • Develop a plan to digitize, preserve, and promote materials from the Music Library, especially items that reflect underrepresented communities.