Libraries Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging (DEIAB) Commitment Statement

The University Libraries (UL) foster an inclusive and diverse community and collection so that everyone feels that they belong. UL is committed to disrupting racism, hate, and bias whenever and wherever we encounter it. We embrace social justice and reject all actions or messages of bias and hate.

The University Libraries is a place for everyone; we will not allow acts of intolerance and hate to diminish the rights and safety of our community. UL is committed to ongoing critical reflection to identify and implement opportunities related to the support of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging in our physical & virtual environments, in our collections, and for the needs of the community. We commit to engaging our community in these conversations and working to reduce barriers to academic preparedness and excellence.

Definitions of diversity are contextual and evolve over time. UL’s guiding definition incorporates several facets into our understanding of diversity. These facets include (but are not limited to) race, ethnicity, national heritage, sex, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, incarceration history, religion, political and economic ideologies, language, body type, physical or intellectual disabilities, and neurodivergence. We recognize that individuals’ intersectional experience is greater than the sum of different social identities.

The University Libraries provide services that support the needs of Penn State employees, students, and the greater University community. Through various initiatives and programs; we supply the community with access to materials; support collections that document and support historically marginalized groups; provide students with access to technology; and create and promote resources that enhance understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. We applaud the many ways faculty and staff have promoted discussion, learning, and action to help UL employees understand and address racism and white supremacy/privilege. It is only through our collective action and vision for a better future that substantive change will be implemented.

UL encourages our organization to bring forth ideas and suggestions to further our DEIAB goals and commitment. UL looks forward to engaging in dialog with our community and partners. We respect and listen to historically marginalized voices. We encourage suggestions to be submitted to

To accomplish our goals and align actions with our values, DEIAB is embedded throughout the UL Strategic Plan 2020-2025. See below for specific Goals and their supporting Unit Objectives that tie into these efforts:

  • Goal 2: Objective 2.4 - Take reparative action to encourage equity and justice in the University Libraries’ collections and services.
  • Goal 3: Objective 3.2 - Evaluate and prioritize usability, accessibility, and our patrons’ right to the privacy of inquiry when we develop and purchase resources.
  • Goal 4: Objective 4.1 - Improve access to and stewardship of our diverse collections representing historically underrepresented and marginalized groups through metadata remediation and digitization.
  • Goal 5: Objective 5.3 - Promote a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) throughout our teaching practice through strategies including onboarding, training, and sustained professional development.
  • Goal 7: Objective 7.1 - Enhance and integrate DEIA into the operations, assessment, and organizational structure of the University Libraries.
  • Goal 7: Objective 7.2 - Recruit more people from minoritized and historically underrepresented groups for standing University Libraries' positions. Prioritize retention and advancement of minoritized and historically underrepresented populations, especially in leadership, management, and professional positions.

Read more about these and all the goals in University Libraries’ Strategic Plan.

As a University, multiple units are involved in supporting the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging at Penn State, including the Office of Educational Equity, Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, the University Faculty Senate, and Penn State Human Resources. While this work has been ongoing for many years, the racial unrest in the United States between 2020-2022 brought a renewed focus that activated libraries and institutes of higher education across the U.S. to do more.

Penn State University Libraries
Updated: January 2024