Emory Libraries receives Insight Into Diversity Magazine’s 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award

Emory Libraries received the 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The LEAD Award honors academic library programs, policies, and initiatives that encourage and support DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) across their campus and surrounding community. These include, but are not limited to research, technology, accessibility, exhibitions, and community outreach. Emory Libraries will be featured, along with 55 other recipients, in the March 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

“Emory Libraries takes an expansive view of access and diversity, in close alignment with the University’s mission and pillars,” says Valeda F. Dent, vice provost of Emory Libraries and the Michael C. Carlos Museum. “The work involves many key partners including library leadership, our DEI committees, the Libraries’ human resources team, and the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The work is always evolving, and at its best it must be responsive, proximate, and relevant to those we serve and the communities where we reside. We are grateful for this award and look forward to the work to come.”

“It is wonderful that the Emory Libraries have been recognized for years of focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Libraries, on our campus, and in our community,” says Lisa Macklin, associate vice provost and university librarian at Emory Libraries. “This recognition reinforces the importance of our commitment and celebrates the great work done by so many.  We thank Insight Into Diversity magazine for this award as we reaffirm our dedication to the ever-changing work of DEI.”

Insight Into Diversity magazine selected Emory Libraries in part because of its focus on diversity issues in its exhibits, commitment to DEI with its own DEI statement and plan, use of surveys to seek feedback on whether services and resources meet students’ needs, dedication to expanding diversity in its collections and hiring practices, and efforts to improve and document accessibility in both e-resources and the physical environment (including the addition of a video series on how to access the library and various locations within). Emory Libraries also has had an active staff-run DEI committee for several years and recently hired Lisa Fenn as senior director of belonging, diversity and equity.

“I am thrilled about joining a library being recognized for doing this work,” Fenn says. “The LEAD award reflects not only Emory University’s broader commitment to diversity, but also the Libraries’ accomplishments increasing accessibility among users through collections, spaces, and services. Emory Libraries occupies central intersections for our campus and all our communities. As our University navigates through constant change, an intersectional understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility will play a critical role in transforming approaches to teaching, learning, and researching. This will position all library staff to continue to be invaluable contributors in the process of shepherding institutional capacity building. The LEAD award is a very special honor.”

“We know that many academic libraries are not always recognized for their dedication to diversity, inclusion, and access,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine. “We are proud to honor these college and university libraries as role models for other institutions of higher education.”

For more information about the 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award, visit insightintodiversity.com.