“Our library is for everyone. You belong here,” reads the newly released Diversity and Inclusion Statement, which can be found on the third floor of UNH’s Dimond Library. This statement has been signed by 40 UNH librarians and aims to promote diversity on campus.
The new posters and statements of acceptance lining the walls near the circulation desk are hard to miss. Included with the posters are photographs of librarians proclaiming why they need diversity in the community.
The idea behind the photographs was to allow library faculty and staff to share their own thoughts and opinions regarding diversity and inclusion.
The statement reads, “The UNH library welcomes and supports all UNH students, faculty, staff and community members regardless of one’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, identity or expression, class, religion, disability, age, ancestry, national or ethics origin, genetic information, or veteran, marital or citizenship status.”
The statement claims that the UNH librarians will continue to value not only the university, but also their profession and continue to uphold rights to open and free access to information tools and resources for those who need them.
Diversity, inclusion, equality and social justice are among the commitments that the librarians maintain, according to this display.
The statement includes a pledge from the librarians to act in solidarity with community members. According to the statement, the pledge will be upheld by listening to the community, actively and continuously remaining educated, responding to acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying and intimidation that may be witnessed, upholding the UNH Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy and serving as accountable partners.
Hannah Hamalainen, a geospatial and earth sciences Librarian, wrote, “I need diversity because it facilitates creative problem-solving and objectivity in solving some of the biggest threats facing our world.”
Posters hosted welcoming messages, such as “You are welcome here!” and “We stand together.”
“I think it’s a great idea and it’s really encouraging,” genetics major and library assistant Delaney Mavor said. “Without diversity, life would be so boring. I also think it’s a shame that we live in a world where we have to tell people that they are included, and that it’s not just an automatic, natural thing that everyone is treated equally.”
“I love that we can see people, not just college students, but people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to make everyone feel safe and welcome,” Mavor said.
UNH librarians encourage everyone to work with them to help provide an inclusive, collaborative, safe and welcoming space and to email [email protected] for feedback about the library and the released statement.