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Library Inclusion Plan

Contents:

  1. Library Inclusion Vision
  2. Library Inclusion Mission
  3. Definitions
  4. Purpose of Planning Process
  5. Guiding Principles
  6. Context
  7. Statement of Accountability and Communication Plan
  8. Goals and Objectives
  9. Appendix A: Resources
  10. Appendix B: Planning Process
  11. Endnotes

Library Inclusion Vision

The Library will increase connectedness and belonging to a campus community that supports student success.

Library Inclusion Mission

CCA Library staff will recognize and leverage the strengths of our diverse campus community to create and promote inclusive library spaces, resources, and support for student learning.

Definitions

Belonging:  The extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others[i]

Connectedness: Frequent interactions or affiliation with the same person or group[ii]

Diversity:  Individual differences (e.g. life experiences, learning and working styles, personality types) and group/social differences (e.g. race, socio-economic status, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability, intellectual traditions and perspectives, as well as cultural, political, religious, and other affiliations) that can be engaged to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and administrative and support services.[iii]

Equity-Minded: The perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education. [iv]

Inclusion:  Involvement and empowerment that recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of all people. An inclusive Library promotes and sustains a sense of connection and belonging; it values and practices respect for the diversity of its staff and patrons.[v]

Purpose of Planning Process

This plan is a proactive attempt to be explicit, integrated and strategic in our approach to inclusion. We will work toward creating common values, language, and a focus on inclusion.  We will invite individual Library staff to recognize that we are all responsible and accountable for equity-minded library services.

Guiding Principles

  • Centered on student success
  • Data-informed – based on needs and gaps
  • Reflect where we want to be
  • Inclusive – shaped by input from students and all Library staff
  • Transparent – well documented and visible

Context

The Community College of Aurora (CCA) is currently the most diverse higher education institution in the state of Colorado.  CCA was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in 2017 and the college is more diverse than our service area, as a whole.  In Fall 2019, 69% of those enrolled were students of color and 32% were Latinx.[vi]  Our service area is 39% people of color, 27% Latinx.  However, the Aurora Public Schools were 85% students of color, 55% Latinx.  It is likely that our area high school demographics may impact future enrollment trends, continuing the increase in Latinx and other students of color. The CCA campus community is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion through Inclusive Excellence.  The Library will support this community through proactively serving our students in ways that recognize, value, and respect our growing campus diversity.

The Colorado Master Plan for Higher Education[vii] has a goal to erase equity gaps while improving student success overall.  CCA has responded by setting similar goals focused on student success while committing to an inclusive college culture.  The Library is embarking on this plan in order to intentionally support institutional goals and values through planning that is framed through an inclusive excellence lens.  To this end, the Library Strategic Direction, 2017-2020 includes the goal to “Intentionally design services to support equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This multi-year, phased plan will help us achieve this goal by guiding our strategies for spaces, resources, and support.  The Library will endeavor to impact college success goals through our work to support student sense of belonging and engagement outside of the classroom.

In the 2019 CCA Student Campus Climate Survey, 82% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they felt a sense of community in their classes.  The sense of community outside of the classroom is not as strong, with only 61% saying they agree or strongly agree that they have a sense of community outside of the classroom.  Only 63% say they agree or strongly agree that they are comfortable participating in campus social life. In the third level of his hierarchy, relating to love and belonging, Maslow wrote that a person will “hunger for affectionate relations with people” and for a place in a group.[viii] It is imperative that students feel connected, supported, and valued in order to have a sense of belonging.[ix] Finding a sense of belonging has positive impacts on persistence, academic motivation, and academic progress.[x] [xi] [xii] Sense of belonging has been found to have a direct correlation to success in college for students of color.[xiii] a By prioritizing planning that works to increase sense of belonging we will strive to impact equity gaps for minoritized students.

Statement of Accountability and Communication Plan

The Inclusion Plan Cycle will run from April to March of each year.

  1. April 1: Inclusion Plan year begins
  2. October: Midyear progress check-in
  3. March: Library staff report on progress on their inclusion and equity performance goals.
  4. March: Draft Inclusion Objectives for following Year
  5. March 31: Inclusion Plan year ends
  6. March/April: performance reviews and goal planning
  7. April: Library Inclusion Committee generate annual report summarizing progress toward the Plan
  8. May, the annual Inclusion report will be presented to the VPAA for review.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Foster student agency by recognizing and honoring their voice

By March 31, 2021:

  • Create and hire a Student Outreach Assistant Work Study position
  • Draft a plan to inform the campus community about how their feedback is being used by the library

Ongoing:

  • Design and implement systems to gather student feedback related to their perceptions of and ideas about library spaces, resources and support.
  • Promote self-agency through the creation of materials that highlights available resources and services

Goal 2: Intentionally create welcoming and safe spaces and collections

By March 31, 2021:

  • Install art that is representative of our students
  • Install partitions between window seats to increase the sense of privacy in those workspaces
  • Perform a collection diversity audit to identify areas to diversify the library collections and address gap areas

Annually:

  • Provide at least one educational or training opportunity to all staff and students regarding inclusive customer service

Goal 3: Nurture connections between students, staff, and faculty

By March 31, 2021:

  • Collaborate with the Art Department and Art Club to plan a gallery showing of student artwork
  • Create at least one student-led library learning community or training annually.
  • Plan and convene students and staff toward the creation of a library-sponsored club

Goal 4: Purposefully identify barriers to student success

By March 31, 2021:

  • Perform an equity space audit to identify how well our student diversity is represented in Library artifacts
  • Research student sense of belonging in the Library through the use of go-along interviews

Appendix A: Resources

Inclusion Plan Sample Models

Appendix B: Planning Process [xiv]

  1. Purpose: Identify the purpose of the inclusion and diversity planning process
  2. Process: Build a process structure (leadership and committee)
    1. Form Library Inclusion Committee, include student representative.
  3. Timeline: Develop a timeline and manage expectations
  4. Guiding Principles: Establish guiding principles for drafting the plan
  5. Vision and Mission: Develop inclusion and diversity vision and mission
  6. Definitions:  for shared understanding
  7. Frameworks and Environmental Scan: Vet framework models (literature review, and institutional examples).  Identify key documents impacting your local context.
    1. Needs assessment (Climate Survey and/or environmental scan and audit—include student and staff input to determine barriers and needs)
  8. Context: Develop a short narrative to provide context with respect to: college context (CCA and IE strategic plans), place context (Aurora, CCCS, and CDHE strategies)
  9. Goals, Objectives, Action Steps: Establish Goals, SMART objectives, and annual actions
  10. Measures of Success:  Identify measurable indicators for each objective
  11. Responsibilities: define and delegate responsibilities towards achievement of the plan
  12. Communication and Accountability: Establish a communication and engagement strategy for planning and marketing your successes and failures (also known as, Statement of Accountability)

Endnotes

[i] Goodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: Scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30(1), 79–90. (quoted from p. 80)

[ii] Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.

[iii] George Washington University. Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement. (n.d.) Diversity and inclusion defined

[iv] University of Southern California. Center for Urban Education. (n.d.) Equity Mindedness.

[v] Adapted from Ferris State University. Diversity Office. (n.d.) Diversity and Inclusion Definitions.

[vi] Community College of Aurora. Institutional Research. (2019). Fact Sheet.

[vii] Colorado Commission on Higher Education. (2017) Colorado rises: Advancing education and talent development (Master Plan).

[viii] Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396.

[ix] Bodaghi, N. B., Cheong, L. S., & Zainab, A. N. (2016). Librarians Empathy: Visually Impaired Students’ Experiences Towards Inclusion and Sense of Belonging in an Academic Library. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(1), 87–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2015.11.003

[x] Freeman, T. M., Anderman, L. H., & Jensen, J. M. (2007). Sense of belonging in college freshmen at the classroom and campus levels. The Journal of Experimental Education, 75(3), 203–220. Retrieved from JSTOR.

[xi] Hausmann, L. R. M., Schofield, J. W., & Woods, R. L. (2007). Sense of belonging as a predictor of intentions to persist among African American and White first-year college students. Research in Higher Education, 48(7), 803–839. Retrieved from JSTOR.

[xii] Meeuwisse, M., Severiens, S. E., & Born, M. Ph. (2010). Learning environment, interaction, sense of belonging and study success in ethnically diverse student groups. Research in Higher Education, 51(6), 528–545. Retrieved from JSTOR

[xiii] Museus, S. D. (2014). The Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) Model: A new theory of success among racially diverse college student populations. In M. B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research: volume 29 (pp. 189–227). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

[xiv] Based on:

American Library Association. (2011) Strategic Planning for Diversity

Reyes, K.A. (n.d.) Developing a Strategic Inclusion & Diversity Action Plan: Lessons Learned from Research & Practice.(presentation).

 

Revised: May 2020

 

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