Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Coates Library Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Coates Library, we value and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are individually and collectively responsible for upholding these values in our daily work.


Coates Library includes materials and resources reflecting a variety of perspectives. In order to address historical imbalances in our collections, we actively acquire and promote content from underrepresented groups and perspectives. We support intellectual freedom by providing free access to information on all sides of a question, cause, or movement.


We strive to provide accommodations that make physical use of the library possible and comfortable for all users. Some obstacles remain, due to the age of the building, but accessibility will be a high priority of any future renovation. Until that time, we strive to mitigate the difficulties our users encounter, and we encourage them to bring such difficulties to our attention.


Coates Library connects its patrons to a broad selection of information resources within a safe, welcoming, and inclusive service environment. We serve and respect people from all walks of life, including those with different abilities, genders, races, religions, and socioeconomic statuses.

In Coates Library, harassment, discrimination, and expressions of hatred are totally unacceptable.


Diversity refers to all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. While diversity is often used in reference to race, ethnicity, and gender, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. The definition also includes diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives, and values. We also recognize that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.

Equity affords fair treatment, fair access, and fair opportunity for all people, while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness not only within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, but also in the distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Inclusion refers to creating environments in which any individual or group is welcomed, respected, supported, valued, and able to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. It is important to note that while an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group is not always inclusive. Increasingly, recognition of unconscious or implicit bias helps organizations to be deliberate about addressing issues of inclusivity.

All definitions adapted from Independent Sector, a national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good.