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University Libraries

E is for Everyone

By Katy Kelly

A University of Dayton librarian was part of a team to build a new diversity, equity and inclusion e-book collection now available to faculty, staff and students statewide through OhioLINK, Ohio’s academic library consortium.

Funded by a grant from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the collection has 82 titles spanning poetry, social science research, historical perspectives, popular culture commentary and other topics. UD faculty, staff and students can access the collection on the Libraries' guide to e-books or database list.

UD student success librarian Zachary Lewis served on the selection committee. 

“I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to serve on the selection committee,” Lewis said. “Helping to draft the purpose statement for the collection was a really meaningful experience for me — being able to clearly outline the goal of this initiative and identify marginalized identities we wanted to include felt like an important step to take. I’m hopeful that this collection will embolden universities across the state to engage in dialogue about these subjects — and that with the help of these materials, they’ll feel better equipped to do so.” Lewis will continue his work on the team for the second phase of e-book title additions. 

Statewide, DEI is an under-resourced area for learning and research. These e-books provide a base collection for higher education in Ohio, introducing students to a diversity of voices that otherwise might not be available to them.

Ione Damasco, associate dean for inclusive excellence, engagement and operations in the University Libraries, shared that this collection will help the Libraries — and the University — advance their own strategic priorities around DEI.

“This collection of e-books is critical for the work we are doing to increase access to content created by and about systemically excluded and marginalized populations,” Damasco said. “Our library diversity plan specifically outlines several action steps to support the curricular and cocurricular offerings at UD that have an increasing focus on understanding marginalized identities. The titles in this important collection are a key component of supporting this work across the university.”

Libraries are responsible for fostering collections that reflect their patron base: their identities, needs, interests and beyond. This initiative provides Ohio libraries the resources to better serve their diverse communities and remove barriers to access. 

— Katy Kelly is a professor and the coordinator of marketing and engagement in the University Libraries.

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