Second round of staff grants funds equity and inclusion projects

March 8, 2022

The University Libraries has awarded seven internal grants for projects that advance inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA). A first round of awards in 2021 funded eight projects. 

The IDEA Action Grant program empowers Library employees to propose and implement inclusive and anti-racist practices in all areas of library operations.  

Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian Elaine L. Westbrooks launched the program in 2020 as part of the University Libraries Reckoning Initiative. She has allocated $250,000 over two years for initiative, including the grant program. 

The new projects are as follows: 

OverDrive ebook and audiobook expansion – Managers of the University Libraries’ OverDrive subscription will use grant funds to grow the collection with diverse voices for online reading and listening. The project team worked with the Carolina Latinx Center to highlight more than 80 Latinx voices and stories and is in the process of building out additional areas. 

The Front Page digitization – the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has digitized and shared online issues of The Front Page (1979-1987), a Raleigh-based LGBTQ newspaper. Work was completed thanks to permission from the paper’s publishers, and in coordination with the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University and the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte. 

Course reserve digital accessibility – a cross-departmental team has identified a PDF conversion software company, Equidox, to create digitally accessible course reserves and research materials. The group piloted a process with Equidox to remediate more challenging documents and will continue to update materials through the newly established workflow. 

Collection assessment – a pair of librarians will conduct an inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility assessment of two sample areas of the monographs collection, one representing social sciences and one representing humanities. The results of this assessment will help them make acquisition choices that create a more inclusive collection. Lessons learned from this project can inform future assessment. 

Conscious editing guide – The effort to remediate the finding aids for archival collections will continue as the Conscious Editing Steering Committee secures additional reviewers for an upcoming guide to the practices they have developed. 

Development training – Two members of the Library Development team, Ryan Clark and Tim Edelen, have attended the training “Key strategies for diversifying your donor pipeline.” They will now help the team to engage the full Carolina community in support of the Library’s fundraising initiatives. 

IDEA podcast – a cross-departmental team will launch a podcast about the University Libraries’ Reckoning initiative and the IDEA work underway in order to share these projects and programs with a broader audience. 

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