As academic libraries seek to meaningfully engage with calls to improve practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) it is important that the library’s collections align with that mission. Yet, Ithaka S+R’s recent survey of library directors found that most libraries have not developed criteria for evaluating and making decisions related to the diversity of their collections. A library-wide strategy for diversifying collections also involves leveraging staff and resources in new ways and creating a broader culture committed to diversity. Therefore, diversifying collections requires new approaches from leadership that embrace vulnerability, learning, and unlearning—as well as a willingness to rethink structures, staffing, incentives and other organizational impediments.

To help libraries begin this process, Ithaka S+R is convening a series of discussion groups for academic library leadership and staff who wish to diversify their collections. The “Leading by Diversifying Collections” series will support the development and launch of a workbook for academic libraries to assess locally both how to start and concrete next steps for their collections’ DEI strategy.

Earlier this month, we welcomed the following participants to the Session 1 discussion groups. The directors will return for Session 2 in early 2022.


  • Kristin Antelman, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Rhea Ballard-Thrower, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Gwen Bird, Simon Fraser University
  • Austin Booth, New York University
  • Emily Drabinski, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Chuck Eckman, University of Miami
  • Benjamin Rawlins, Texas A&M International University
  • Bethany Nowviskie, James Madison University
  • Tim Pyatt, Wake Forest University
  • Maura A. Smale, NYC College of Technology, CUNY
  • Courtney L. Young, Colgate University

Collection Managers

  • Posie Aagaard, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Maria Estorino, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Helen McManus, George Mason University
  • Jack Maness, University of Denver
  • Mark Paris, Brandeis University
  • Carmelita Pickett, University of Virginia
  • Amanda Strauss, Brown University
  • Lexie Thompson-Young, University of Texas at Austin
  • Jennifer Vinopal, Ohio State University

Librarians, Archivists, and Curators

  • Dorothy Berry, Harvard University
  • Kristin Browning-Leaman, Purdue University
  • Whitney Buccicone, University of Virginia
  • Aparna Ghosh, formerly Cornell University
  • Kayla Lar-Son, University of British Columbia
  • Aruna Magier, New York University
  • Sarah Polkinghorne, University of Alberta
  • Sarah Pritchard, James Madison University
  • Yasmeen Shorish, James Madison University

We thank EBSCO for sponsoring this project.