Lehigh University’s Library & Technology Services (LTS) received the inaugural 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine.
The LEAD Award honors academic libraries’ programs, policies and initiatives that encourage and support diversity, inclusion and equity across their campus and surrounding community. These include, but are not limited to research, technology, accessibility, exhibitions and community outreach. Lehigh will be featured, along with 55 other recipients, in the March 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.
“Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access are core values for the Lehigh libraries and across LTS,” says Greg Reihman, vice provost for Library and Technology Services. “For us, those values become impactful when they show up in the resources, support, events, spaces, and workshops we offer. This award recognizes the hard work and real impact of our talented and dedicated staff, who enact and embody these values in all that they do.”
Lehigh’s nomination for this award included details from LTS’s Strategic Plan and highlighted specific actions LTS has taken in recent years to strengthen connections across the community. “Libraries are community hubs. They connect people to information and connect people to people. It’s a great honor for Lehigh to be recognized with this award,” added Lehigh University Librarian Boaz Nadav Manes. “In the libraries and across LTS, our commitment to cultural diversity is an essential part of who we are. Our staff and our DI&E committee members collectively work to expand our collections to include more works by underrepresented authors, to create welcoming learning spaces for our community, to promote inclusive practices in teaching and learning, and to partner with others across campus to ensure that scholarly materials and academic technologies are accessible and inclusive.”
Demonstrated success in these areas contributed to Lehigh’s selection for this honor.
Donald Outing, vice president for equity and community, notes another Lehigh example of this inclusive effort. “The creation of the LTS CIRCLE (Community & Inclusion Resource Center: A Library for Everyone) in the Fairchild-Martindale library last February, for instance, meets a need for spaces for conversations, presentations, and study about diversity, equity and inclusion topics. It is an area where students, faculty and staff can study or relax in a welcoming space surrounded by books, periodicals, movies, and other materials that convey our values of inclusion and accessibility as reflected in our Lehigh for Everyone strategic priorities,” he said.
“We know that many academic libraries are not always recognized for their dedication to diversity, inclusion, and access,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine. “We are proud to honor these college and university libraries as role models for other institutions of higher education.”
Insight Into Diversity is the leader in recognizing inclusive excellence in higher education through its many prestigious awards. They are also known for being the leader in advancing best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion through their website and print magazine.