Information Services supporting equality, diversity and inclusivity

Rainbow umbrella
  "colourful" by Jannick Timm. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Information Services Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) Group aims to make sure that our services are inclusive for all our staff and students. Key achievements this year have been:

Book Group club

The Library, Kent Union and Student Support and Wellbeing have created a book club for students beyond academia in a confidential and safe library space.  Topics have included LGBTQ+, with discussions about books and the themes of gender identity and sexuality.  Of the 258 books purchased, we’ve had 473 page views, 452 clicks and 32 annotations.

Library spaces to reduce stress

The chill out zone is now open seven days a week and is only closed for cleaning between 06:00 and 08:00.  Students have told us that they “love the room” and that it is an “amazing concept”.

Diversity in our collections

The Diversity Mark project has produced a ‘diversity dashboard’ for reading lists that provides academics with a space to reflect on their resource choices and kick-start discussions with students.  This work is mainstreaming library support to diverse library collections.  The feedback from students provided clear evidence of the value of the project to their own critical reflection.  “There was an assumption that the reading list was white British male-oriented and that’s just the way it is. Students are heavily dependent on their lecturers and what they recommend as reading”. – Evangeline Agyeman, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, May 2019.

The work has led to winning the Talis Aspire User Group Creativity Award 2019.

Students Collins Konadu-Mensah and Evangeline Agyeman and Liaison Librarian Sarah Field accepted the Talis Aspire User Group Creativity Award 2019 award on behalf of the Diversity Mark project

Students Collins Konadu-Mensah and Evangeline Agyeman and Liaison Librarian Sarah Field accepted the award on behalf of the project

Making our digital content accessible

Library and technical staff have played key roles in the Kent Digital Accessibility Working Group, by sharing best practice with the digital inclusion alliance, and have been fundamental to the development of an accessible web template and with the roll out of Blackboard Ally.

Open Accessibility

Kent published Open Access journals are now being offered a Blackboard Ally module to ‘accessibility check’ journal content prior to publication. Advanced Journal of Professional Practice is the first to sign up. We’re excited about the future of this offering and expanding the Open Access ethos at Kent.

‘Out and Proud’ Exhibition

Out and proud’ was led and curated by Kent’s LGBTQ staff network and the Special Collections and Archives team.  It showcased some of Kent’s LGBT+ champions, role models, and allies to highlight the amazing people on our campuses, share experiences, good and bad, and to be a reminder that we are all citizens of this beautifully diverse world.

Health and wellbeing through library collections

The Wellbeing and Self Help collection reading list has been updated with an additional 73 books.  Selected books from the reading list have been on display over the Spring and Summer in the Templeman Library and more than 100 titles have been borrowed by students.  The now accessible Prescriptions: Artists’ Books Collection, with books by  artists from around the world, deals with topics such as “cancer, chronic illness, disability, mental health, surgery, medicine and wellbeing” (Bolaki & Ciricaite, 2017).

Inclusive service design – developing our staff

A new staff EDI café, digital ideas wall, and dedicated email, provide opportunities for Information Services staff to share best practice, ask questions, and highlight training.  Some of the ideas raised have since formed part of the Information Services EDI Action Plan 2019-2020.

Amplifying underrepresented voices in Scholarly Communication

The inaugural Scholarly Communication Conference set out to “feature underrepresented voices in Scholarly Communication“ and was described by one delegate as “one of the most welcoming, sustainable, collaborative and inclusive conferences I have attended”,

Tools to help your work and study

Information ServicesStudent Support and Wellbeing and the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching have launched a new online service for staff and students to find useful apps, software and online productivity tools.


If you have any suggestions or feedback on our services please let us know

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