The Library is Diversifying its STEM Resources, and Wants Your Suggestions

While institutions throughout the U.S. are banning books, restricting access to those that showcase voices from historically marginalized groups, the Cal Poly Humboldt Library is diversifying its collections—and staff want suggestions from the campus community.

Specifically, Library officials are asking the campus community for recommendations of STEM-related resources that include the perspectives, experiences, and achievements of BIPOC, Female, LGBTQ and other historically marginalized groups.

The effort to extend its science, math, engineering and technology-related resources is made possible by a grant, which The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion awarded to the Library in December, 2022.

“Every dollar of that award will be allocated to acquiring books and media that help diversify the Library’s collections, including authors and titles that are representative of our entire University community and that raise awareness of diversity in STEM-related disciplines,” says Abigail Green, Access Services Evening and Student Supervisor.

Library staff were motivated to grow the STEM collection after conducting a diversity audit, Green explains. “Through this audit, we learned that our STEM-related print collections could be greatly improved by including more diverse authors and perspectives.”

Purchase suggestions received so far include: “The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome,” “All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis,” “The Disordered Cosmos,” and “How Far the Light Reaches.”

Green hopes these efforts will engage the campus community and raise awareness of diversity and equity in STEM-related disciplines. “This program furthers the Library’s long-standing commitment to be an inclusive, safe, and welcoming space where all members of our academic community feel valued and represented,” says Green.

The campus community can share their recommendations online, or by submitting written suggestions in the library. 
The Library will continue to accept recommendations to diversify its STEM materials until the end of June. Faculty, staff, and students can make purchase recommendations for the general collection anytime with this form.