Diversity Services Librarian Connects Users with Resources
The University of Illinois is committed to excellence, and its emphasis on diversity is a vital part of that commitment. As a result, the Office of the Provost has funded a new faculty position in the University Library that addresses this important area: assistant undergraduate librarian for diversity services.
Dana Wright, who holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois, assumed the new position in July 2002. She is responsible for developing and coordinating library services in support of diversity, and she also manages interdisciplinary collections. Her position primarily serves the Undergraduate Library due to its broad user population, which includes not only students but also the entire academic community.
“As diversity services librarian, I have a responsibility to connect users with the Library’s multicultural resources and to enhance the collections,” explains Wright. “I assist faculty in locating resources for use in the classroom or other campus activities, and I provide guidance to students in finding and using materials.” In addition, she provides general reference assistance and conducts outreach to educate the campus about library programs and services.
Joyce Wright, head of the Undergraduate Library, states that the new position is very important to her library and the University Library in general. “It allows us to more effectively serve diverse groups and to become more involved in the multicultural environment on campus,” she says. “This includes the enhancement of current campus initiatives, which offers opportunities for collaboration with various units such as the Office of Minority Student Affairs, the Asian American Studies Department, and the Latina/Latino Studies Program.”
As the position develops, plans for the future include continued campus outreach, the creation of resource guides for multicultural collections, and specialized reference services for undergraduates. According to Dana Wright, “Users should be educated about our collections and services, feel comfortable seeking them out, and be satisfied with the quality of results they receive.”