We are proud to have been in the forefront of diversity efforts on campus for a number of years. Our diversity statement reads, in part:
"The University of Arizona Library guarantees students, scholars and staff equitable access to its resources and for employees, equal access for advancement, without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, marital status, handicap or Vietnam veteran status."
Diversity is woven into the fabric of our structure. It is one of our core values, part of our strategic plan, and a part of our merit evaluation system. Diversity in our environment embraces the acceptance of a multiplicity of cultural heritages, lifestyles and worldviews. It acknowledges the elimination of discrimination and the acceptance of difference. All staff and customers are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of status. Within the Libraries, diversity is both an organizational and a service imperative.
As an organization, the Libraries are working to improve the representation of people of color in all job classifications. Diversity among the staff, brings new perspectives to our work, increases our creativity and causes us to question outmoded assumptions. Currently, one third of the professional and classified staff are members of a minority group. This staff is needed not just to diversify our workforce, although this in itself is a critical goal, but because our increasingly diverse clientele requires that a broad range of viewpoints be voiced in decisions affecting our programs and services. In today's university, diversity is not just a social good, but a practical, effective way to customize our service to our widening array of constituencies.
By its very nature, the Libraries embody the concept of diversity. Intellectual freedom and access to information, the keystones of librarianship, are the foundation for our acceptance of the full spectrum of ideas and perspectives. Our collections and services must reflect the breadth of human experience from many orientations. It follows that our staff and services must also reflect these principles if we are to create a quality, meaningful intellectual environment for students, faculty, staff and the people of Arizona.