A collaborative venture across the Library, Student Success Project, SECL and SSPSSR Medway received the Talis Aspire User Group Creativity Award 2019 for using reading lists as a mechanism to develop diverse library collections.
This national award was made by a group of peers drawn from UK Universities.
This is a truly innovative use of Talis Aspire reading lists and data, and there’s potential for this project to have national impact. – Talis Aspire User group May 2019
Students Collins Konadu-Mensah and Evangeline Agyeman and Liaison Librarians Emma Mires- Richards and Sarah Field accepted this award on behalf of the project and presented a paper to the conference that outlines the work and its outcomes – Diversity in the curriculum: a collaborative approach.
Over the last year Diversity Mark pilot projects have taken place in:
- the School of European Culture and Languages led by Dr Laura Bailey (Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics)
- SSPSSR Medway coordinated by Dr Barbara Adewumi (Sociology Lecturer) and Dave Thomas (Student Success Project Officer).
Resources on a number of module reading lists for each school were audited according to gender, race and country of origin. The results of this analysis begun discussions in focus groups with academics and students.
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, May 2019
It also raised student engagement with resources:
It has pushed me to go above and beyond in terms of research and reading books. – Collins Konadu-Mensah, May 2019
Professor April McMahon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, said:
This is a measure of all the fantastic work that [the group] have been doing in Library Collections and in the Student Success Project in partnership with students and the wider University. We are absolutely delighted that they all have been awarded the 2019 award for their work to diversify library collections and support the development of a more inclusive learning experience. It is great for this innovative, first-class and highly collaborative project to receive national recognition in this way – it is very richly deserved.
Following the success of the Diversity Mark pilot, there are plans to offer this service to other schools in the next academic year. For more details, contact the Student Success Project or your Liaison Librarian.