Cultivating a library service and workplace which is diverse, equitable, inclusive and respectful is at the core of our values. We are actively committed to encouraging these values within our staff body, our approach to customers, our collections and systems, and our teaching and events.
We want both staff and customers to be part of a fully inclusive community and feel empowered to help us identify and bring down barriers to inclusion.
We have deliberately chosen to use the umbrella terms of ‘equality, diversity, and inclusion’ (EDI) as our work has strands that cover multiple protected characteristics.
What we’re already doing
In recruitment and selection:
- Our shortlisting is anonymous and double-marked to minimise bias
- We aim for diverse interview and work-related exercise panels
- Staff involved in recruitment all complete training which includes a section on unconscious bias
- We recognise a variety of qualifications and experience, and don’t normally require a library qualification
- We welcome part-time, job-share, and flexible working requests for most full-time roles
In supporting our staff:
- We encourage engagement with existing internal and external networks including the University’s LGBTQ+ Allies Network, SCONUL BAME Allies and the staff mental health network
- We are committed to sourcing and developing more training for our staff on a range of issues including anti-racism, trans awareness, and supporting neurodivergent customers
- We aim for diversity in our staff development. For example, our staff careers forum was designed to ensure a diverse set of speakers
In supporting our customers:
- The Hive is autism friendly. We co-construct action plans with carers of regular customers with autism to best meet their needs. This can include allocating the same computer each week and providing noise-cancelling headphones
- We work with internal and external partners to celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion. We collaborated with the Students’ Union on a Black History Month resource list, a Reader Recommends campaign on social media and displays to celebrate black figures throughout history. We celebrated Lunar New Year with the International Office and we promote the Out2gether Book Club via our WhatsOn guide
- When consulting with students or working with them as partners we use Students’ Union networks and the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service to engage with students from under-represented groups. We monitor demographics of the students who engage with us
- We’ve worked with Registry so that students’ preferred names are used on our library management system
- We build accessibility into our teaching content to create an inclusive learning experience
In our building:
We have a range of spaces to suit customers with different needs:
- We also have a breastfeeding room located in the Children’s Library.
- In 2022, we set up a Hive EDI champions scheme to thread inclusive practices more fully through everything we do. This group works across The Hive and includes colleagues from both Library Services and Archives and Archaeology
Our commitment to do more
- We would like to further increase diversity in our applicant pool and workforce. We plan to review our job descriptions and explore more Kickstart apprenticeships and graduate posts. We are working with HR to track recruitment statistics
- We aim to have a more systematic integration of EDI in our projects and workflows
- We aim to set up more work placements for students that focus on EDI
- We aim to ensure all staff understand the importance of EDI work and the processes in place to support them. This will include an EDI staff survey, and training which puts theory into practice and provides a space for discussion
- Our Senior Leadership Team maintain and monitor a departmental EDI action plan