Community Colleges Seek Congressional Funding to Support Diverse Learning Resources for Students
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Council of Chief Librarians and the Community College League of California (League) are working together to secure diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) focused library resources to benefit community colleges across the state. The funding would be used to obtain DEI focused library resources for the state’s 2.1 million students throughout the California Community College system. California Community Colleges serve a diverse population of races and ethnicities, and library resources should reflect those diverse populations to support equity and inclusion goals.
"Community Project Funding would allow our libraries to obtain high-quality DEI library resources that otherwise would be unattainable due to the high cost of purchasing as single college libraries," said Dr. Larry Galizio, President and CEO of the Community College League of California.
Currently, there is a large equity gap caused by a disparity of library resources available to students and staff across California’s community colleges. Database collections that represent marginalized people from various racial, ethnic, and gendered communities are essential to support diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Funding would allow a DEI-focused collection to be curated and purchased. Some examples of such resources could be:
- African American Historical Serials Collection – featuring materials from 1829 through 1922.
- Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 1 – a digital collection of historical content pertaining to United States Hispanic history, literature, and culture.
- Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 2 – presenting manuscript, book, and newspaper content in the areas of Hispanic civil rights, religion, and women's rights.
- Ebony Magazine Archive – one of the key Afro-American magazines of the 20th century.
- Asian American Drama – bringing together more than 250 plays, along with related biographical, production, and theatrical materials.
- North American Indian Thought and Culture – including more than 100,000 pages featuring virtually all North American indigenous peoples.
When asked what kind of impact this funding would have on students, librarians from California’s community colleges provided the following feedback:
“Engaging students with collections, resources, and services in which they see themselves is critical to student success, and it is our responsibility as educators to provide them with this. Collections and resources historically underrepresent minoritized groups in our student body, and this has compounded over time, leaving a gap in collections. Intentional and inclusive selection of DEI resources is necessary to make up this gap and provide students with educational resources supporting success.” (Stephanie Roach, Librarian, College of San Mateo)
“Resources that our students see themselves in and help them feel that they belong in higher education are essential to creating an inclusive learning environment and culture. Resources like that are often hard to find or afford, especially for small colleges with small budgets and staffs, but these are often the colleges serving the students who need those resources the most.” (Glenn Tozier, Librarian, Monterey Peninsula College)
“Funding DEI research resources helps to level the playing field for community college students. It signals that we value their voices, experiences, and desire to transform society.” (Evelyn Lord, Librarian, Laney College)
The League is requesting funding from Congress by Tuesday, May 11th in to order to begin providing these critical library services to students. Colleges are encouraged to send additional letters of support requesting funding to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla. To read the Council of Chief Librarian’s letter sent to Congress, click here.”
The Community College League of California (League), whose vision is Quality Public Community Colleges for All Californians, is a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a voluntary membership of the 73 local community college districts in California. The League promotes student access and success by strengthening colleges through advocacy, policy development, leadership development, and district services. Visit our website at www.ccleague.org.