EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) continues to take action and strives to do more to uphold and improve diversity, equity and inclusion — both within our organization and our surrounding communities, as well as within the library community at large.
As it relates to the library community, our approach is always to do the right things for the right reasons. As such, it is rare that we would publicize our support of various organizations and initiatives. And while this has not changed, one example of an openly visible initiative that we are proud to support is the Association for Research Libraries’ Kaleidoscope Program. The initial program was aimed at attracting master of library and information science (MLIS) students from historically under-represented racial and ethnic groups to careers in research libraries and archives. A number of years ago, EBSCO approached ARL with the goal of bringing additional value to their efforts that would directly impact individuals’ lives. From this, a second phase of the Kaleidoscope Program was introduced where funds provided by EBSCO create annual opportunities for librarians of color to take internships in academic library settings, allowing these Kaleidoscope Diversity Scholars to gain valuable and practical career experience.
Internally, we have resources related to diversity in hiring and training, but the death of George Floyd & the protests that have focused needed attention on the plight of African Americans have caused us to consider what we are doing, as a company and as a community, to affect change.
As a content provider, we have responded to requests from librarians and reviewed our existing e-book collections to pull out germane content for adults and children, so that collection development experts can more easily augment their collections.
We are reviewing our internal training materials and we are bringing together employees to address issues within our own corporate culture and discussing what to do next — making sure we are listening to the voices of our employees who are people of color and encouraging conversations. We have a model to use in how we address issues related to women in business by bringing people together and giving them a safe space to speak. We expect this same model to work as we focus more attention on diversity, equity and inclusion, address bias and focus on racial justice.
We hope this addresses any open questions and provides some clarity on what EBSCO has done and how we will be moving forward in these changing times. We recognize that there is always room for improvement and additional actions that will make a difference to our employees and have a meaningful impact in our communities.