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Commitment to Equity

UK Libraries is committed to creating a culture and environment that sustains diversity, fosters inclusivity, and confronts institutional biases of all kinds. We cultivate these aims in our personnel, our policies and procedures, and in our collections, programs, and services.

We recognize and acknowledge that our collections document histories of exclusion, marginalization, oppression, and violence, and that longstanding failures of care have cemented these histories and practices into our systems, structures, and institutions. Rectifying these failures and repairing their harms calls for active, ongoing, thoughtful, and purposeful work that centers voices, knowledge, and ways of remembering that have historically been excluded from the archival record. 

We are committed to this work, and this commitment inflects all that we do, which is why we have chosen to uphold it as the core strategic principle that guides our actions, informs our decisions, and shapes the kind of library system, university, and world that we want to create.

Who We Are

Intentional Recruitment

In order to actively build an inclusive community, UK Libraries engages in the intentional recruitment of underrepresented groups for open positions. We seek personnel recommendations from our peers, thoughtfully advertise our job listings, and directly contact applicants. By investing in peer mentoring, professional development programs, and staff training, we cultivate an environment of inclusive excellence that we can uphold as an asset in attracting candidates.

Diversity Scholars Internship

UK Libraries Diversity Scholar Interns play a fundamental role in working with UK Libraries personnel to further the library system's dedication to diversity and inclusivity, spearheading initiatives that diversify the perspectives and information represented in the libraries' collections and services. For more information, or to apply to the program, please visit our Student Jobs & Internships page.

How We Serve

Building Diverse Collections

Like many libraries, our buying process is largely automated. To ensure that our library collections reflect our values and represent our communities, we are working to incorporate new geographic and demographic parameters into our purchasing plans, so that our faculty, students, and staff can find the stories, experiences, and knowledge of local and underrepresented voices. Find our diverse and inclusive collections and library resources below.

Inclusive Descriptions

UK Libraries is committed to addressing outdated, harmful, and offensive language found in the descriptions of library resources in catalog records, finding aids, and digital collections metadata. Two committees – a Cataloging and Metadata Committee and a Digital Initiatives Group at the Special Collections Research Center – are working to ensure that metadata for newly digitized items utilizes inclusive language and social groups’ preferred terminology. We are also addressing legacy descriptions for our collections on an ongoing basis, though given the enormous volume of material we hold, this is a process that will take time. If you encounter harmful, offensive, or outdated language in any library descriptions, please email us at

Affordability Initiatives

UK Libraries is dedicated to helping instructors find, adopt, and create affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks. Through course reserves, open educational resources, scholarship opportunities, and our Open Educational Resources Grant Program, we empower learners by reducing students’ financial burden and increasing access to higher education for all. Since its launch in 2016, the Alternative Textbook Grant Program has impacted thousands of students, leveraging just over $100,000 in grant funds into over $1.5 million in student savings. Find more information about course reserves and openly licensed or library-licensed equivalents to textbooks on our Affordable Course Content page, or visit our Open Educational Resources Library Guide.

Inclusive Teaching

All of UK Libraries’ instructional sessions are modeled on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, which promotes flexible learning environments, intuitive information formats, and equitable instruction design. UDL allows our instruction librarians to accommodate individual learning differences in order to meet the needs and abilities of all learners. Learn more about library instruction on our Teaching Support page.

What We Offer

Welcoming & Inclusive Spaces

UK Libraries provides all of its users with welcoming, inclusive, and accessible spaces. We partner with UK’s Disability Resource Center to provide library users of all abilities with accessibility services and assistive technology, and are continually increasing accessibility to services, spaces, and collections across our libraries. We offer users all-gender restrooms, a lactation room, and more resources tailored to user wellness.

Diverse Resources & Collections

UK Libraries’ collections document the histories and experiences of marginalized and underrepresented groups, and tell the stories of people across all identities and walks of life. Both digitally and in print, you can find resources and collections that catalog the lives of BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, and working-class communities.