EDI in academic libraries: Black students’ experience – report available to purchase

How can academic libraries better diversify their services to provide a truly equal and inclusive experience for all?

The Office for Students has set ambitious targets to achieve equality of opportunity in higher education putting universities under increasing scrutiny to tackle the persistent awarding gap amongst some student groups. Black students are of particular concern due to being consistently awarded lower grades than their White counterparts.

Planning is already in place among libraries to understand how they may better foster student success but substantial proportions of students still do not believe that their library provides an inclusive environment. 

This research report will support you in:

  • Building an evidence base of the lived experience of library services from an inclusivity viewpoint, and the role this plays in student outcomes.
  • Identifying opportunities for new programmes or initiatives that could better support students from Black backgrounds
  • Inform diversification initiatives across all library services
  • Position the library as a key driver of inclusivity initiatives and a role model across the institution

More about the EDI in academic libraries: Black students’ experience project

This qualitative research project was based on two online qualitative research communities, to which we recruited Home students from Black backgrounds to share their thoughts experiences and views in more depth. 29 students participated in the first community and 25 in the second.

The report was completed in May 2022.

As well as the full research findings, insights and evidence from the qualitative research project, the full 40-page report includes an executive summary and practical recommendations.

Report contents include:

  • What are students’ experiences of library services, specifically from an inclusivity and diversity
  • What aspects of library services do embody equality, diversity and inclusivity?
  • Which aspects of library services do not embody equality, diversity and inclusivity? How does
    these impact the student experience, learning and attainment?
  • How can the library better embody equality, diversity and inclusivity across its content and

Project partners

This project was developed in partnership with a number of clients who helped to shape the research design through our collaborative research model. With thanks to:

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Goldsmith’s, University of London
  • University of Law
  • University of Nottingham
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University College London
  • University of East Anglia