Moraine Valley Community College’s Dr. Sylvia Jenkins Library is one of only 56 academic libraries in the country to be named a recipient of the inaugural Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award. The award was given by Insight Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

The LEAD Award honors academic libraries for providing programs and initiatives that encourage and support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) on their campus.

The Dr. Sylvia Jenkins Library hosts the Arab American and Muslim American Women’s Panel, one of many diverse events offered by Moraine Valley’s Library that have helped it win the inaugural LEAD Award.

“Receiving the inaugural LEAD Award means we are achieving the DEI goals our Library team set for ourselves in our strategic plan,” said Dr. Terra Jacobson, dean of Moraine Valley’s Learning Resource Center. “I am so proud of our entire team and their commitment to DEI work. It takes everyone to make this possible. Our Library staff has intentionally embedded equity, diversity and inclusion throughout our work and has consciously chosen to look at our strategic priorities through this lens. We look forward to seeing exemplary practices other schools are implementing so we can learn and model our future work after them, as there is still more work to be done.”

Criteria for the award included how libraries assess DEI progress, improve access to resources in their physical and virtual environments, support underrepresented authors, assist their institution’s faculty in their diversity, equity and inclusion research, incorporate DEI efforts into recruiting and retaining of staff, and support diverse collections and events.

“We look at DEI holistically, so it’s part of everything we do. I hope that’s why we stood out,” said Tish Hayes, information literacy librarian. “It’s been a lot of work by a lot of people, and it makes me proud to work in a library where it’s important for us to do this work.”

The list of the LEAD Award recipients will be featured in the March 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.


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