Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Coates Library Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Members of the Coates Library staff value and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They recognize that they are individually and collectively responsible for upholding these values as part of their daily work.


Coates Library collections include materials and resources reflecting a variety of perspectives. In order to address historical imbalances in our library’s collections, we actively seek ways to acquire and promote content coming from underrepresented groups and perspectives. We build our collections to support intellectual freedom by providing free access to the expression of ideas through which all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored.


Coates Library desires to provide the accommodations that make the physical use of the library possible and comfortable for all users. At present, some obstacles remain, partly as a result of the age of the building. With future renovations, accessibility will be a high priority; until that time, we strive to mitigate difficulties our users encounter, and we encourage them to bring any such difficulties to our attention.


Through its services, Coates Library connects students, faculty, staff, and other patrons to a broad selection of information resources. Library staff commit themselves to creating a welcoming and inclusive service environment that is respectful and safe for people of varying characteristics, including different abilities, genders, races, religions, and socioeconomic statuses.
In Coates Library, all forms of harassment, discrimination, and expressions of hatred are 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.