Diversity and Affirmative Action Policies

The University Library is committed to building and maintaining a diverse workforce which is representative of the availability of individuals with requisite skills in each component of the organization: management, faculty, staff, and student assistants. The library is committed to specific actions in recruitment, training, and mentoring which will contribute to this objective, and to fostering a work environment which will insure tolerance and respect for all. In such an environment, characteristics relating to race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, gender, marital status, veteran status, or political views are not considered in any recruitment, appointment, or advancement decisions; physical or mental limitations are taken into account only insofar as they are relevant to the performance of the essential job functions.


In general, the statistics contained in Appendix A reflect trends and suggest needs and opportunities which will become the focus of the library's recruitment, retention, training, mentoring, and employee development programs.

  • The need for greater ethnic and racial diversity in the composition of the administrative staff
  • The need to increase the representation of women and racial minorities among upper level support staff
  • The need to build and maintain a more representative faculty, particularly in any area(s) in which the race and gender characteristics of the faculty are significantly different from the available pool

The library is determined to address these needs, using systematic, proactive measures and enlisting the full support and involvement of the organization's existing workforce. These measures are described in the sections which follow.

A. Staff

Except in unusual circumstances, the target area for recruitment efforts directed at staff positions is the five county Southern California area: Los Angeles and Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties. The population of this region, according to 1990 census data, is roughly 50% Caucasian, 33% Hispanic, 9% Asian, and 8% African American. 3 As shown in the appendix, approximate composition of the total library staff in 1998 was 34% Caucasian, 20% Hispanic, 35% Asian, and 8% African American.

B. Librarians

Part-time librarians are recruited from the same area described above. Tenure-track librarians are hired from a national pool of qualified professionals. It should be noted that availability statistics for librarians nationally can be deceptive. The 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Equal Opportunity Files indicates that there are 200,881 librarians, 85.4% of whom are white, with 7.7% African American, 3.1% Asian, 3.1% Hispanic and less than 1% Native American. So minority groups are represented in the profession to a far lesser degree than they are in the general population. These data now are quite old and undoubtedly the next census will reflect even greater minority representation. Complicating this, not all librarians are qualified to work in an academic setting. The census data include school and public librarians, many of whom would not seek, nor be sought for, employment in an environment where demands and expectations are very different. The competition among academic libraries for the relatively low numbers of available minority librarians is intense, and it is an issue which has persisted for many years. Strategies for addressing this disparity are proposed in Section IX. Current composition in 1998 of the library faculty is approximately 79% Caucasian, 0% African American, 7% Asian, 15% Hispanic, and 0% Native American.

University Library recruitment efforts, described in detail in each position's Recruitment and Advertising Plan, must include specific initiatives to attract and encourage applications from underrepresented populations. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, posting position announcements on electronic bulletin boards and distribution lists which are directed at specific minority groups and purchasing advertising in publications and geographic regions which could be expected to include high concentrations of ethnic and cultural minority group members. For librarian recruitment, copies of a position announcement will be distributed to recent recipients of the American Library Association Spectrum Scholarships, inviting them to consider applying.

C. Non-Serialized Positions

Statistics on non-serialized positions, including student assistants and temporary staff and faculty are shown in Appendix A. Because these positions are temporary, because the numbers of staff and faculty are small, and because the representation of protected groups can and does fluctuate, one cannot draw great significance from the presence or absence of minorities in these categories.

D. Administrators

Administrators are a relatively small class, and in the library they are drawn from two populations. Deans and Associate Deans are recruited from a national pool of qualified professionals and typically hold credentials as librarians. Other library administrators are drawn from the existing staff or from advertising efforts which may be local, regional, or statewide in scope. The current composition of this class, reflected in Appendix A, indicates the desirability of recruiting or promoting qualified minorities into the library's administrative ranks.

When the library's efforts to recruit qualified faculty and staff, including those who can contribute to the ethnic and cultural diversity of the workforce have been successful it will take special efforts to insure that the new employee's first weeks and months convey a sense of welcome and desire on the part of the organization to facilitate the transition of the employee into the CSULB Library work environment. Like all University Library employees, new faculty and staff, including those from protected classes, will be provided with a basic orientation to the organization and the campus and the fundamental information appropriate to the type of position. Beyond this, in many cases it will be desirable to assign a mentor to work closely with an individual during this period to answer questions and help resolve any misunderstandings or concerns early. For librarians the process of orientation, training, and mentoring has been integrated and is carried out in a very systematic manner. For staff, the appropriate administrator or unit supervisor may appoint a mentor or may assume this role him/herself. For student assistants, the supervisor will be sensitive to the need to insure that new employees, including those from underrepresented groups, understand the expectations for their assignment and are made to feel that their contributions to the organization are welcome and valued.

The University Library recognizes the value to the individual and to the organization of staff development. It provides opportunities for staff and librarians at all levels for continuing education through supporting and encouraging employee participation in formal degree programs, workshops and seminars, and other activities designed to upgrade skills and to position the employee to meet ever-changing organizational needs. Staff development opportunities are available to all, and library administrators and supervisors will insure that employees from underrepresented groups are invited and urged to apply and will offer to help all employees focus their career development plans.

The University Library is committed to establishing and maintaining an organizational climate which is hospitable to members of minority groups and one in which these individuals are respected and valued. It is committed also to providing training, mentoring, and career development opportunities to employees in the interest of fostering a long-term relationship with the University and the library. When these efforts to retain a staff or faculty employee have not been successful the administrator or supervisor will conduct an exit interview directed toward eliciting the departing employee's assessment of organizational strengths and weaknesses and factors which might have influenced the decision to resign. This information is provided to library management and appropriate personnel committees to suggest further strategies for retention.

Members of underrepresented groups, like other library employees, are interested in assignments that provide them with opportunities to develop potential and to qualify for promotion. Administrators and supervisors work with individual employees to suggest ways in which they can prepare for increased responsibility, to make assignments and write employee goals which afford an opportunity to demonstrate potential, and to encourage employee initiative regarding training and development.

It is easy for those who have been members of an organization for a long time to become complacent and to lose sight of the interests, perspectives and sensibilities of those who may have only recently joined the workforce. To re-instill an awareness and sensitivity toward a multiracial and multicultural population the University Library will enlist the aid of the Multicultural Center and/or the Office of Equity and Diversity in scheduling workshops which all library staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to attend at least every two years.

The library is in a unique position relative to other campus units to demonstrate its conviction to support diversity. Students and employees will look to the library's collections, its exhibits, its press releases, and its public programs to see if its words are substantiated in actions. It behooves every library employee to realize that one can perceive and draw conclusions about the library's attitude toward other cultures and the sincerity of its commitment to diversity from the things it does in a variety of areas more than by what it says.

As noted in Section IIB, the available pool of qualified academic librarians from underrepresented populations is a small one, particularly when a subject specialization is needed. Minority business or engineering librarians are in very short supply, and competition among institutions that hope to recruit them is intense. The only hope for changing this situation over the long term is to attract larger numbers of minority individuals to the profession. Graduate library schools, the American Library Association, the California State Library, and others are doing what they can to do this.4,5 But libraries, and the University Library also must take initiative, by encouraging our minority to consider library careers and telling them about scholarship and financial aid opportunities, by incorporating into orientations provided to local high school students a short segment or brochure on information-based careers. The recruitment needed to build the diversity of the profession must begin early and it must be aggressive if change is to occur, and administrators, staff, and librarians each have a role in contributing to this long-range effort.

Current workforce diversity profile (Spring, 1998):

The statistics which follow are approximate and impressionistic; they are not intended to be read as a definitive analysis of staff composition but as a rough indicator of areas needing to be addressed in a diversity policy document.

A. Number of employees by category:

Note regarding this table Student Assistants FTE is calculated by dividing the total paid hours per year by 2,080 (52 weeks @ 40 hours per week).

Number of employees by category
1. Administrators 7
2. Faculty 14
3. Staff 56
4. Student Assistants (head count) 168
4.A. Student Assistants (FTE) 84
5. Temporary Faculty 2
6. Temporary Staff 8

B. Workforce diversity by category:

Workforce diversity by category:
1. Administators Number Percent
Male 3 43
Female 4 57
African American 0 0
Asian 0 0
Hispanic 0 0
White 7 100
Native American 0 0


Faculty diversity by category
2. Faculty Number Percent
Male 4 29
Female   71
African American 0 0
Asian 1 7
Hispanic 2 14
White 11 79
Native American 0 0


Staff diversity by category
3. Staff Number Percent
Male 19 40
Female 29 60
African American 7 15
Asian 7 15
Hispanic 4 8
White 30 63
Native American 0 0


Student Assistants diversity by category
4. Student Assistants Number Percent
Male 84 50
Female 84 50
African American 12 7
Asian 77 46
Hispanic 44 26
White 35 21
Native American 0 0


Temporary Faculty diversity by category
5. Temporary Faculty Number Percent
Male 1 50
Female 1 50
African American 0 0
Asian 0 0
Hispanic 0 0
White 2 100
Native American 0 0


Temporary Staff diversity by category
6. Temporary Staff Number Percent
Male 4 50
Female 4 50
African American 1 13
Asian 3 38
Hispanic 2 25
White 2 25
Native American 0 0


C. Diversity among supervisory and other upper level support staff classifications: 

(includes LA III and IV, AOA II and comparable classes)

Supervisory diversity by category
Audience Number Percent
Male 2 29
Female 5 71
African American 0 0
Asian 0 0
Hispanic 0 0
White 6 86
Native American 0 0


1. Allen, James P. and Eugene Turner. "Table 2.2: Ethnic Population Change by County" in The Ethnic Quilt: Population Diversity in Southern California. Northridge: Center for Geographical Studies, California State University, Northridge, 1997. p. 35.

2. Buttlar, Lois and William Caynon. "Recruitment of Librarians Into the Profession: The Minority Perspective." Library and Information Science Research. 14:3 (July-September, 1992), 259-280.

3. Dear, Michael, ed. "Figure 13: Ethnic Composition of Population, 1970-1990." Atlas of Southern California. Los Angeles: Southern California Studies Center, University of Southern California, 1996. p. 12.

4. McCook, Kathleen De La Pena and Paula Geist. "Diversity Deferred: Where Are the Minority Librarians?: The Numbers Tell the Story." Library Journal 118:18 (November 1, 1993), 35-38.

5. St. Lifer, Evan and Corinne Nelson. "Unequal Opportunities: Race Does Matter." Library Journal 122:18 (November 1, 1997), 42-46.

6. Squire, Jan S., "Job Satisfaction and the Ethnic Minority Librarian." Library Administration and Management. 5:4 (Fall 1991), 194-203.

7. "Table 230-Full-time and Part-time Instructional Faculty and Staff in Institutions of Higher Education, By Type and Control, Academic Rank, Age, Salary, Race/Ethnicity, and Sex: Fall 1992." Digest of Education Statistics 1997. Washington DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. 1997. p. 244.

8. Robles, Patricia, "Recruiting the Minority Librarian: The Secret to Increasing the Numbers," C&RL News 59 (November, 1998), 779-780.

Adopted by Library Administration, 1999