I just got done reading “Spotlight on EDI in Community Colleges” addressing how community colleges are approaching equity, diversity, and inclusion. Unfortunately, rather than find a community college librarian to write the post, it was written by a university librarian. There are many qualified community college librarians who could speak to how we are addressed these important issues within our libraries and on our campuses. These are topics that come up often in discussions about how to meet the varied needs of our students; needs that go beyond the classroom.
Community college students are diverse. This is a fact. What diversity looks like at one college may be different at another college. But we all can agree that our students come from different backgrounds, races, ages, economic classes, abilities, etc. And we have to acknowledge all of that mix and find ways to serve everyone where they are and where they want to be.
If any librarians in higher education can ill afford to maintain neutrality, it is community college librarians. We must stand on the side of our students and support them. We need to be vigilant and examine our own policies, procedures, and practices for ways in which we exclude people whether it’s overt or not. We should continue to educate ourselves about how to better provide service and who are students are so we can respond with empathy and compassion.
I hope the discussion on EDI continues among community college librarians. I hope those in other areas of higher ed listen to what we have to say, because we have valuable insights to share. Our students are worth listening to as well.