Equality, diversity and inclusivity in academic libraries: Black students’ experience

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. 

Why join this project?

  • Build an evidence base of the lived experience of library services from an inclusivity viewpoint, and the role this plays in student outcomes.
  • Identify 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

What will the project explore?

The survey and online community guide will be shaped in conjunction with the universities who choose to participate in this research project, based around the following crucial questions:

How does is work and what are the costs?

The strategic national collaborative insight costs £3,950+ VAT  to participate in and includes:

  • Two online qualitative research communities, recruiting 25-30 Home students from Black backgrounds to share their thoughts experiences and views in more depth
  • A smart, succinct, highly visual report with practical recommendation to help you engage with Black students across your library services.
  • We will also bring together an advisory group of students to ensure that the voices of Black students are present within the planning, design and reporting of the project.
  • We’ll bring together participating institutions in three online events to shape the project and to discuss interim and final findings and ideas for action

The project will commence in February 2022 and complete by June 2022 so get in touch now for a more detailed project outline or to arrange to talk if you’re interested to hear more.

For more information about how to join and a copy of the project outline click here to email Sharon Steele, Marketing and Client Communities Director, at sharon.steele@alterline.co.uk.