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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Higher Education

A shared LibGuide between Butler University’s Academic Affairs for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion unit and Butler Libraries. Focus is on DEI issues & opportunities in higher education.

Butler Libraries' initiatives related to DEI

Academic libraries are active in promoting DEI awareness and inclusivity.  From addressing outdated, non-inclusive Library of Congress Subject Headings, collecting materials by under-represented populations, to teaching finding and evaluating alternative perspectives in research instruction, academic libraries are on the forefront of these conversations.  The Association of College & Research Libraries' Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion website points to the numerous DEI services, programs, and initiatives being addressed by academic libraries.

Read below about how Butler Libraries' is supporting DEI awareness

...and note this is a growing list!

Metadata for Everyone:  How libraries are responding to inclusivity in describing content

Libraries play a key role in describing content so it can be discovered through the use of metadata.  Academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification scheme to assign subject terms to books, articles, and media so the end user can find these materials in library catalogs.  While the classification system is continually being updated to accommodate new areas of scholarship, perspectives, and identities, the process take time. 

For examples of evolving subject headings, consult the Cataloging Lab's - Problem LCSH page.  This provides a crowdsourced compilation of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) that are considered problematic (for a variety of reasons).  

The Butler Libraries has an ongoing harm-mitigation project to create local subject headings to replace existing outdated and potentially harmful subject headings. If you find a troubling subject term(s) in our catalog, please submit it through the below form with a suggestion(s) of an alternative term(s).  

You can also seek out your Butler subject librarian for assistance with identifying terminology for searching when using Butler's catalog system.

For a quick read on this topic, consult:

Ros, A. (n.d.). The bias hiding in your library. The Conversation. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from  

The Fortnightly Literary Book Club Collection

The Fortnightly Literary Book Club Collection is a living collection of books centered on Black authors across multiple genres, disciplines, and the diaspora,   It is an on-going, collaborative effort between the Hub for Black Affairs & Community Engagement and Butler Libraries.  Inspired by the Fortnightly Literary Book Club established in 1923, the collection aims to improve access to literary works created by Black writers and expand engagement with Black cultural and intellectual knowledge. 

Print titles in this collection are located on the first floor of Irwin Library, in the refreshment alcove.  Please note that many of the titles are available in ebook form as well:

Providing Captioned Content

In partnership with the Student Disability Services and the Center for Academic Technology, Butler Libraries is the first checkpoint in the process of providing captioned media for Butler courses. 

Upon notification from SDS, Butler Libraries reviews requests for captioning against our streaming media databases.  Through a tracking system, we either alert faculty to the captioned content or move the request on to the Center for Academic Technology for captioning.  

This three unit collaboration ensures that we provide accessible content to our students in an efficient, economical way.

Educational Scaffolding

The Butler Libraries collaborate with faculty, staff, and other units across the institution to support DEI initiatives in the curriculum through coordinated information literacy instruction and material support of syllabi through targeted collection development provided by Subject Librarians. Below are a sampling of class guides that provide a snapshot of the support the libraries provide.


Other Butler LibGuides on DEI topics

Butler librarians maintain a number of LibGuides covering DEI topics. These guides have been created for Butler classes and to support faculty development.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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