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UBC Okanagan Library Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Describes EDI work underway at UBCO Library. Provides resources relating to EDI.

About the UBC Okanagan Library EDI Committee

The UBC Okanagan Library EDI Committee was formally established July 2020.

Mandate

The EDI Committee leads the development of the UBC Okanagan Library Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. It is responsible to create, deliver, and measure the impact of initiatives in support of the plan, within the library, on the UBC Okanagan campus, and in the wider community.

The committee leads initiatives in support of the UBC Inclusion Action Plan, in collaboration with responsible operations, service and program leaders as appropriate.

Reporting structure

The committee reports to Heather Berringer, Chief Librarian and Associate Provost, Learning Services.

Contact

Contact the chairs:

Christian Isbister christian.isbister@ubc.ca 

Donna Langille donna.langille@ubc.ca

Terms of Reference

As of September 2021

Principles

We, as a committee, recognize and acknowledge the current and historical role that academic libraries have played in a system that oppresses 2SLGBTQIA+*, BIPOC**, and other marginalized folks.

We, as a committee, commit to continuously educating ourselves about our complicity in the unjust, oppressive, and racist systems that define our professional spaces and to actively disrupt and dismantle these systems and support and enable the work of others who aim to disrupt and dismantle them.

We, as a committee, will support the UBC Okanagan Library to develop an understanding, knowledge, and structure of practice that is focused on equity, inclusion, and diversity, explicitly positioning anti-racist, anti-ableist, de-colonization and Indigenization, and 2SLGBTQIA+ projects and supports at the forefront of what we do.

We make a commitment to, and are accountable for, driving diversity and inclusion throughout UBC Okanagan Library. The EDI Committee, through its mandate and initiatives, will provide professional development and training opportunities Library employees can use to increase their competence to interact effectively in the context of many similarities and differences. We work towards inclusion, social justice and equity for library employees and users.

*2SLGBTQIA+ = “Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (or Questioning), Intersex, Asexual (or sometimes Ally). The placement of Two Spirit (2S) first is to recognize that Indigenous people are the first peoples of this land and their understanding of gender and sexuality precedes colonization. The ‘+’ is for all the new and growing ways we become aware of sexual orientations and gender diversity” (Equity and Inclusion Glossary of Terms, UBC).

**BIPOC = “Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour” (The BIPOC Project). 

Mandate

The EDI Committee leads the development of the UBC Okanagan Library Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. It is responsible for creating, delivering, and measuring the impact of initiatives in support of the plan, within the library, on the UBC Okanagan campus, and in the wider community.

The committee leads initiatives in support of the UBC Inclusion Action Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan, in collaboration with responsible operations, service and program leaders as appropriate.

Specifically, within the first year of the EDI Committee, we propose to engage with library staff and leadership to determine areas of focus to support a diverse and inclusive library. These areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Recruitment and retention of diverse library employees, including hiring practices, education and training, and development of a mentorship program

  • Development of education and training opportunities, such as cultural competencies, for all employees, including student staff

  • Audit library spaces and accessibility to ensure a welcoming environment for all employees and patrons

  • Engage with our campus and community to explore ways to participate in and/or host events 

Evaluation 

The committee will continuously evaluate the progress of the areas of focus outlined above, using relevant evidence-based metrics of best practice in our EDI work. To evaluate this work, we will engage with both library employees and patrons, providing multiple modes of communication and building space for perspectives from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups.

Authority 

The EDI Committee makes recommendations based on best practice and community engagement. The committee obtains endorsement from the Chief Librarian to action its recommendations.

Reporting

The EDI Committee reports to the Chief Librarian, as sponsor for the committee. Reporting will include a written annual activity report, as well as biannual reports at designated meetings. 

The committee’s Terms of Reference, as well as the Library’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, will be posted to the library’s public facing website.

Current activities, work plans, and announcements will be shared on the library’s intranet, website and/or the committee's Libguide as appropriate.

Membership

Composition 

Membership will comprise two representatives from each library employee group.

We encourage student staff (PTA and co-op) membership, dependent on approval from their supervisor to participate in the meetings and work of the committee.

The Equity Facilitator from the Equity and Inclusion Office will be invited to participate as an ex officio member.

Length of service

Ideally, members will commit at minimum to two years of service. However, should a member’s situation change, preventing them from serving the full term, we will certainly be flexible in allowing that individual to step down.

Student members will ideally participate for an eight month term.

Recruitment

Members will be recruited on a volunteer basis. Should more people volunteer than spaces are available, the committee will determine a selection process that ensures adequate and broad representation. 

Recruitment will occur as members’ terms end, or as needed to ensure representation and work commitment needs are met.  

Roles

Co-Chairs

The co-chairs coordinate, prepare and distribute meeting agendas and related materials, one week in advance of regular meetings. They lead the meetings, ensuring sufficient discussion and agreement occurs as needed.

Note-taker

A member will be designated as the note-taker on an annual basis. This person will record action items for follow up.

Members

Attend all meetings and contribute to committee work. Each member, including the co-chairs, will be responsible to lead or co-lead initiatives as determined by the committee, and will recruit and lead working groups to support activity delivery.

Sub-committees and working groups 

Ongoing sub-committees and short-term working groups will be established as needed to deliver initiatives in support of committee focus areas.

Operations

Meetings

Meetings will occur monthly, for 90 minutes, on a predetermined schedule as set by the committee. Longer planning meetings will occur biannually. 

Year

The committee operates on the fiscal year calendar.

Decision making

A quorum is not required for decision making; however, feedback will be sought from all members as needed in order to finalize decisions.

Communications

The committee will communicate on current activities via channels such as the library newsletter and intranet.

Relationships

The EDI Committee seeks to develop and maintain relationships with various campus groups, including but not limited to: Library Operations Team, Equity and Inclusion Office, Disability Resource Centre, Aboriginal Programs and Services, International Programs and Services, Human Resources, particularly the Work Re-integration and Accommodation Program (WRAP), Student Union clubs and course unions.

UBC Library Diversity and Inclusion Team: we will meet periodically with this standing committee to share strategic goals and report on initiatives, so as to learn from, update on and align with each other’s work.

Community organizations: we will seek out opportunities to engage and build relationships with community organizations supporting diversity and inclusion in the Okanagan region.

Budget

We will develop budgets for activities as needed, and submit requests to the Chief Librarian in accordance with library budget planning timelines.

The committee may apply for other funding sources as appropriate, for example the Equity Enhancement fund.

Review of structure and ToR

The terms of reference will be reviewed after the initial year, and then as determined.

References

Vardhmane, S. (2017). Diversity and inclusion councils.  https://ccdi.ca/media/1072/20170831-ccdi-diversity-council-toolkit-final-v3.pdf

Membership

Kristy Baxter
Kim Buschert
Meghan Currie
Azzah Farras
Christian Isbister
Sajni Lacey
Donna Langille
Jessica Lowry
Pep Muthui
Jacklyn Awotwi-Pratt
Dania Tomlinson