Skip to main content

Today's Hours

A Bowdoin ID is required for entry:
  • H-L Library after 11:00 p.m. daily
  • Beckwith, Pierce, and Hatch Libraries after 7:00 p.m. weekdays; all day Sat. and Sun.
View All Hours

DEIA Projects and Initiatives


Expanding on the Library's Commitment to Anti-Racism and action plan, these goals were developed to support our efforts to achieve sustained impact on our practices in regard to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access:

  1. Incorporate DEIA goals intentionally into the library's administrative practices.
  2. Provide and support staff learning and engagement opportunities to increase awareness of the ways in which structural racism permeates all aspects of our society and, in regard to libraries, longstanding professional practices.
  3. Incorporate best practices for diversity recruiting into library position searches and work to create an inclusive climate for all staff.
  4. Increase accessibility in all aspects of the library's work.
  5. Ensure that the library's policies and services are equitable.
  6. Increase the representation of marginalized communities and BIPOC voices among the library's collections.
  7. Identify, acknowledge, and address intentional and unintentional biases that permeate the ways we describe our holdings.
  8. Deepen the integration of inclusive teaching strategies into the library's educational program to create a sense of belonging for all students.
  9. Conceptualize and deliver public programs, exhibits, and outreach utilizing an antiracist lens while seeking opportunities for actions that intersect with the ongoing work of the library.
  10. Work towards removing barriers to inclusion and access and ensuring the libraries are welcoming and safe for all members of the Bowdoin community.

Projects and Initiatives

The information below is representative of the library's ongoing work and is updated periodically.

Project/Task/Activity Lead Department/Team Responsible Additional Department/Team Participation Primary Goal Addressed Secondary Goal Addressed Status Accomplishments
Review the library's collection development policies and guidelines to reflect our goal to develop and steward inclusive and diverse collections Collections SC&A 6 In Progress SC&A staff attended the Bibliographical Society of America's New Directions in Indigenous Book History online conference. Outcomes include improved understanding of indigenous contributions within our rare book holdings and plans for an exhibition about indigeneity and print, followed by reassessment of our holdings in this area. (6/23)
Staff participation in a CBB-appointed Subject Heading working group, identifying problematic and outdated subject headings and recommending replacement terms and preferred language Tech Services Liaison Team 7 In Progress
  • Group established (10/21)
  • Group identified subject headings and processes for changing outdated headings. (6/22)
Create an Accessibility webpage Admin Access Services 4 Complete Page launched (7/21)
Seek opportunities to support/patronize diverse businesses and suppliers Admin 1 In Progress
Integrate DEIA goals intentionally within the library's Strategic Priorities Admin 1 Complete
  • FY 22 goals finalized (9/21)
  • FY 23 goals finalized (9/22)
Add provenance notes to catalog records for those items that were originally a part of the Russwurm African American Center Library and subsequently transferred to the collections of the College Library Tech Services 9 Complete Completed (9/20)
Develop a student-curated BIPOC Collections Display program to directly engage students and focus on deepening the collections Liaison Team Collections 9 6 Complete
  • Spring 2021 inaugural display of BIPOC literature curated by Thando Khumalo '23; added volumes to the collection at Thando's suggestion. (FY 21)
  • Fall 2021 display of Indigenous literature curated by Shandiin Largo '23; added volumes to the collection at Shandin's suggestion. (12/21)
  • Fall 2022 display focused on Latinidad, Identity, and Queer Love, curated by Katla Lainez, '24; added titles to the collection based on Katia's suggestions. (11/22)
Library Liaison readings and discussions addressing research and instruction through a racial justice lens Liaison Team 2 8 Ongoing
  • Read and discussed of The Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Freire. (FY 21)
  • Monthly series of readings and discussions addressing research and instruction through a racial justice lens. (12/21)
  • Liaisons participated in a half-day retreat to build on the momentum of the integration of DEIA and antiracist principles and practices into their pedagogical work, expanding "reading" into "doing." (9/22)
  • Liaisons are working individually on "pedgagogical improvement projects" as part of a plan based on Bowdoin's Faculty Fellows Program and in alignment with the College's inclusive excellence guidelines. (6/23)
Provide information and tools for staff to create accessible documents Admin 4 2 Complete AT&C Digital Content & Accessibility Specialist, Juli Haugen, facilitated sessions for staff on creating accessible PDFs and Word documents and on digital accessibility of images (Fall 2021)
Review of the website to achieve compliance with WCAG 2.0 guidelines DIG 4 In Progress 95% AAA accessibility compliance with SiteImprove's automated evaluation/assessment. (6/22)
Deepen existing ties with college programs such as Mellon Mays, Thrive, and Upward Bound and collaborations with other academic support programs, including CLT, BSE, and BASE Liaison Team SC&A 9 In Progress
  • Provided introduction to Bowdoin research resources for Mellon Mays and Geoffrey Canada Scholars; personalized library orientation for students participating in BSE; and outreach to THRIVE. (Summer/Fall 22)
  • Liaisons collaborated with IT and BCLT on a joint meeting on inclusive pedagogy focusing on Accessibility and Digital Excellence and presented at the inaugural Digital Excellence Commitment (DExC) Institute. (Spring 2023)
Expand the archival record of BIPOC student groups in the College Archives SC&A 9 6 Ongoing Accessioned the historical records of the Women's Resource Center and more recent records of the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (SWAG). (6/23)
Determine and implement a systematic approach to reviewing the library's collections with a focus on inclusivity, specifically in regard to representation of the voices and experiences of BIPOC and other marginalized voices Collections 6 In Progress
  • Focused attention on deepening e-resource holdings; SC&A increased collection of artists' books by BIPOC creators. (6/22)
  • Bowdoin organized a summit for CBB collections staff on the topic of "diversifying the collections." (7/22)
Review fine policies for overdue materials Access Services 5 In Progress No longer charge for fines with the exception of reserves, which are mostly waived, and materials that do not belong to Bowdoin (6/22)
Increase focus on DEIA-related topics for HL book displays Collections 9 Ongoing
  • Displays created on the topics of Afrofuturism, disability, Hispanic Heritage Month and Queer Latinx, Indigenous Peoples Day, and Global Accessibility Awareness Day. (Fall 2022)
  • Displays created in collaboration with student groups, including the Disabled Students Association, Peer Health, Gender Violence Prevention & Health Education, and SWAG. (Spring 2023)
Research, develop, and apply critical cataloging methodologies to our descriptive workflows Tech Services 7 Ongoing
  • Cataloger has compiled a Confluence site of resources related to critical cataloging and has begun documenting examples of recataloging requests received and acted on by staff. He is also serving on a CBB working group to identify harmful and/or outdated LCSH subject terms and develop suitable local replacement terms for display in our catalog. (12/21)
  • Call numbers of ~300 books were changed, updating the classification code from Negro to Black; the language in the finding aid for the Miriam and Donald MacMillan papers was updated from Eskimo to Inuit. (6/22)
Address the non-neutrality of archives and rare book collections SC&A 7 9 Ongoing
  • SC&A incorporated into instruction sessions an acknowledgment of the non-neutrality of archives and rare book collections; the outdated terminology found in archival descriptions; and both the presence and absence of voices in terms of what has been collected and described and by whom. This same acknowledgment is integrated into online exhibition texts. (FY 21)
  • Dissemination of SC&A's policy regarding bias and potential harm inherent to description and collections.This policy now has its own web presence, has been incorporated into Spark sites created to support class visits, and is being linked from the library's various digital collections systems. (12/21)
Provide transcriptions of oral histories that are part of digital collections SC&A 4 In Progress
  • Digital Archivist has been coordinating a crowd sourced project to create transcriptions to accompany oral histories. (12/21)
  • New and ongoing projects include transcripts; actively working with an outside transcriber for current large OH project (12/22)
  • All oral histories recorded as part of the COVID 19 project have been transcribed. (6/23)
Untold Project SC&A 9 In Progress
  • SC&A staffed completed research phase and turned over research dossier and preliminary writings to Dean of Faculty; preparing for next phase of project, including potential additional research. (12/22)
  • SC&A staff have provided considerable research support to new lead faculty author and other collaborators. Much focus has been on land holdings and records of dispossession of Penobscot lands vis. land proprietors, including the Bowdoins. (6/23)
Determine options for accessibility conversion workflows for documents provided via ILL Access Services 4 In Progress Developed workflows to enable delivery of searchable PDFs via Bowdoin Digital Delivery. (6/22)
Library-wide staff learning Admin 2 Ongoing
  • Library staff reading group, Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy, summer 2020; held three collaborative sessions for CBB staff - on inclusive cataloging practices, diversifying the collections, and inclusive pedagogy (Fall 2020)
  • Benje Douglas met with the library's staff 11/21 to discuss how we can ensure that the library provides a hospitable and welcoming environment; planning underway by the DEIA WG for a program focused on Dawnland and the Indigenous communities of Maine. (12/21)
  • The DEIA WG organized a 3-part program focused on Dawnland and the Indigenouse communities of Maine that included screenings of the film, facilitated discussion groups, and a full staff program with guests Esther Anne and Heather Augustine from Wabanaki REACH. (6/22)
  • The DEIA WG organized a 3-part program focused on Critial Collection Development. This included a staff panel discussion; a progrm with staff from the University of Denver, "Peer Perspective: Human-centered Reparative Change and Collection Development at the University of Denver"; and an SC&A open house, "Diversifying the Collections – Artist’s Books." (3/23)
Recruitment Admin 3 Ongoing
  • MH discussions with Michael Reed on recruitment; recast language of position ads to directly address inclusivity and the library's antiracist work; expanded list of posting sites; engaged directly with the CSDI on systems, collections, and cataloging position searches. (FY 21)
  • Incorporating HR discussion on diversity/bias in hiring into process of formation of all search committees. (12/21)
  • Experimented with a blind review process for the initial review of job applications for the Associate Librarian for Collections position. (6/22)
  • Implemented a blind review process for initial review of job applications for all positions (7/22)
Outreach to faculty and students for input regarding the composition of the collections Collections Liaison Team 6 9 Ongoing
  • Liaisons working directly with students involved in NASA on developing collections related to Native Americans. (FY 21)
  • Worked with faculty to expanded offerings in the Kanopy streaming film database to include more films in the areas of Ethnicity and Identity, Indigenous Studies, Race and Class Studies, and LGBTQ+ Studies. (6/22)
  • Worked with Prof. Margaret Boyle and Katerine Barrett, '23, to add Spanish language children's books to the collection to support the work of students enrolled in Prof. Boyle's Teaching and Learning Languages and Cultures class and Barrett's honors project, "Multilingualism and Community Engagement." Titles were purchased from La Librería, Los Angeles, CA; a public program was held on 9/22/22.
  • Working with faculty in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies (LACLaS) to develop approval plans for Latin American materials. (6/23)
With participation from staff, students, and faculty, review points of user engagement with the library including Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, and Special Collections & Archives Admin Access Services 5 10 Not Started
Work towards removing barriers to inclusion and access and ensuring the libraries are welcoming and safe for all members of the Bowdoin community Admin 10 5 Ongoing
  • Automatic door opener added to the Media Commons doors. A plan to remodel the H-L circulation desk - incuding improving user accessibility - were approved for FY 24. (6/23)
  • Student-focused library climate survey conducted the week of April 10th. Goal: gain a sense of the degree to which the library is welcoming to students (do they feel a sense of “belonging” when they are in a library building?). Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Negative comments related almost entirely to the library’s physical space. Comments being reviewed to determine what we can do to address the issues that were raised. Recommendation that assessment will be an ongoing process, with the next step to convene focus groups to ensure we reach individuals who are representative of Bowdoin’s diverse student population. (6/23)