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How does the Library support Equality, Diversity and Inclusion?: Home

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How does the Library support Equality Diversity and Inclusion?

Liaison Librarians are working to develop our collections to ensure the Library encompasses a diversity of voices and identities. To help build an inclusive community, we would like all students and staff to see their individual identities and interests represented within our research resources.  It is also important for all students and staff to be able to draw on a variety of voices, identities, viewpoints and information types to broaden their perspectives. 

Work around diversifying the library collections necessarily involves seeking out resources to adjust imbalances in representation relating to race, religion, ethnicity, class, gender, disability, age and sexuality.  We are also conscious of UCA’s international community and aim to collect a range of resources that reflect global creative practices and seek out material published outside of the UK/US and dominant Global North academic publishing bias.  

We welcome suggestions for the Library and would like to work with students and staff to develop our collections further. Please get in touch with the Liaison Librarian based on your campus if you would like to find out more about how you can contribute to Library collections or have ideas you would like to share.

Liaison Librarians have created several reading lists which make areas of our collections more visible. These lists have followed current events and student interests and identities which have been communicated to us via workshops, tutorials and requests for support.  

We see this as a collaborative process and welcome suggestions for new lists as well as content to add to existing ones. We were recently able to include a new Trans Feminism section on our Feminism reading list after responding to feedback from a member of academic staff.

Part of our work involves the active collection of visual sources and independently published material, in order to offer a counter-narrative to mainstream academic publishing. Several studies have been undertaken that outline the under-representation of women, LGBTQ authors, Global Majority authors and concentration of research outputs from the Global North (Conklin and Singh, 2022; Wilson, 2021).  

An example of alternative sources being developed within the collection are zines. The ethos behind zines is that anyone can make them, and that they have very few barriers to publication and access. Zines in UCA collections cover a wide range of subjects, including LGBTQ+ history and culture. We also hold zines created by UCA students.  

A recent zine making event was run at Epsom Library to mark LGBTQ+ History month in February 2023. Students were able to look at examples of zines in UCA collections which showcase LGBTQ+ perspectives and find out how to make their own.

For more information about zines have a look at our Zine Reading List.

Use the 'Independent Voices' Collection on JSTOR. 

Browse the African and Asian Visual Artists Archive on VADS

Useful journal titles:

Group of students participating in a zine workshopLiaison Librarians are working towards a critical approach to teaching information literacy which includes workshops on alternative and open access sources and critical information searching.  

Topics include:  

  • Disrupting established classification systems, which left unquestioned can operate to perpetuate inequality 
  • Learning to counter the hidden bias in online discovery systems  
  • Locating, using and creating alternative information sources such as zines  

Decolonising the curriculum involves a complex and long-term range of actions which may include diversification of reading lists and library resources as one strand of practice. Diversifying reading lists helps to interrogate and decentre dominant Western knowledge structures and histories.

We have compiled a list of resources specifically on Decolonisation within creative education and practice.

Course Reading Lists

  • Library and Learning supports the curriculum by providing access to resources on course reading lists. Following the implementation of specific Equality, Diversity and Inclusion units across the curriculum in 2022/23 we recently purchased a variety of new material which has acted to further diversify our collections and enable research around these issues.
  • We support and encourage academic members of staff to review and audit all reading lists regularly to consider representation across all unit areas. Please get in touch with your Liaison Librarian if you would like support with this.

Several academic libraries have provided toolkits that could help in the process. See for example: