Chief Officers of State Library Agencies Chart Path in Support of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Member voices provided lens to examine organizational activities, determine plans
(Lexington, KY, December 16, 2020) – The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) has completed a three-month project focused on realizing its potential for bringing positive and sustainable impact to the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion for our organization, our profession and those we serve. Through a variety of activities, nearly all COSLA’s fifty-four members contributed to the effort which yielded deeper understanding of member views, a guiding statement, and delineation of core commitments to shepherd future work.
“It was vital that COSLA devote time and energy to hear from its members and spend time together on these complex issues,” said COSLA President and Montana State Librarian Jennie Stapp. “Commitment to the process, which utilized surveys, online focus groups and knowledge cafés, was high and resulted in equally high-quality results like the “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement” adopted by the Board earlier this month.”
COSLA’s work in this area is well established through its member-led Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Engagement Group. Jennifer Nelson, Director, State Library Services and Charter Center, Minnesota Department of Education leads that group. “The EDI Engagement Group has tackled a number of projects but none as big as the work completed over the last few months,” Nelson noted. “The statement is meaningful and important, and I’m equally pleased that the work led us to core commitments to pursue over time. These were suggested by our partner in conducting this work, NCXT, and will serve as guideposts for COSLA’s future work. They add action, accountability and meaning to the work. We’ll be referencing them frequently,” added Nelson.
COSLA’s statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the core commitments are here. For more information, contact COSLA Executive Director Timothy Cherubini ([email protected]; 859 514 9826)
COSLA, Inc. is an independent 501(c)3 organization of the chief officers of state and territorial agencies designated as the state library administrative agency and responsible for statewide library development. Its purpose is to provide leadership on issues of common concern and national interest; to further state library agency relationships with federal government and national organizations; and to initiate cooperative action for the improvement of library services to the people of the United States. https://www.cosla.org/