Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Libraries are dedicated to the principles and practices of social justice, diversity, and equality among our staff, collections, and services. As part of the efforts to further and enable the opportunities for education, benefit the good of the public, and inform citizens, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries commit ourselves to doing our part to end the many forms of discrimination that plague our society. In coordination with campus efforts, the Libraries are moving forward with the approved recommendations for action that were developed as part of the UW–Madison General Library System’s Diversity Task Force Recommendations Report, November 2, 2015.

The UW–Madison Libraries will continue to look for ways to eliminate undue hardship for the patrons who use our collections, services, and facilities. We will continue to work to ensure we provide welcoming and inclusive surroundings for all who wish to take advantage of our spaces and services. Actions meant to hurt, alienate, or divide this community will not be tolerated. We strive to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive work place.

“The library staff at UW–Madison will continue to work with each other, as well as campus partners, to encourage practices that promote education, equality, diversity, and social justice. It’s not only important that the UW-Madison Libraries provide a welcoming environment for patrons, but that our practices are seen as a positive contribution to the community as a whole,” said Ed Van Gemert, UW–Madison Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian. “Ongoing efforts and outcomes include: being aware of own personal biases and unconscious bias; refining our capacity to directly address culturally insensitive actions and statements, and learning how to set the tone and lead in a culturally competent manner.”

The UW–Madison Libraries abide by and support the American Library Association’s (ALA) Bill of Rights. The ALA affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that six basic policies should guide their services. A history of the Library Bill of Rights is found in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.

Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices. See the documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.

For additional information or to contact the Libraries, you are encouraged to email or call 608-262-3193.

The following pages include the signatures of individuals offering their support for this statement, including the General Library System’s Executive Group and the Library Coordinating Council (LCC).

Library Executive Group

Nancy Graff Schultz
Director, Administration

Lee Konrad
Associate University Librarian, Technology Strategies and Data Services

Lesley Moyo
Associate University Librarian, Public Services

Edward Van Gemert, Chair
Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian

Doug Way
Associate University Librarian, Collections and Research Services

Library Coordinating Council (LCC)

Steven Barkan
Director, Law Library

Matt Blessing
State Historical Society Library

Deborah Helman
Director, Wendt Library

Anna Lewis
Co- Director MERIT
Teacher Education

Julie Schneider
Director, Ebling Library

Brenda Spychalla
Co- Director MERIT
Teacher Education

Edward Van Gemert, Chair
Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian