The mission of the Kathryn A. Martin Library is to expand equitable access to information, enhance learning and research across campus, and serve as an inclusive center for collaboration in our community.
The vision of the Kathryn A. Martin Library is to be an essential partner for learning and inquiry in our community.
We are committed to changing our library to make it more just, accessible, equitable, and inclusive.
We are committed to making information open and accessible to our community and to providing clear and transparent communication among library managers, library workers, and library users.
We are committed to offering sustainable services that prioritize the well-being of our staff and community.
We are committed to learning, changing, and developing in our work, and we recognize that there are always opportunities to develop and improve our services and collections.
Library Equity Statement
Background and Context
We acknowledge that libraries and academic institutions embody and perpetuate racism and white supremacy. The Kathryn A. Martin library has a predominantly white staff with exclusively white leadership. We understand that we have explicitly and implicitly supported the policies, systems, and structures that privilege white people at the expense of Black people, People of Color, and Indigenous people.
We are actively working to make our library more just, accessible, equitable, and inclusive.
We library staff — as individuals and as representatives of an institution — are in positions of power and influence. We are committed to inclusion and to changing library practices that currently embody or perpetuate racism and white supremacy in our services, our collections, our spaces, and our organization. This is a key part of how library staff work towards UMD’s goal to “advance equity, diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice within the campus community.”
We define our ideals as follows.
- Equity is the fair treatment of individuals based on their needs, viewed through the lens of historical power structures.
- Diversity describes human difference within a community. This includes, but is not limited to, ability, age, body size, cultural background and values, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender and gender expression, language, nation of origin, religion, socioeconomic status, and intersections of these identities.
- Inclusion means enabling all individuals to succeed, thrive, and shape the intentional creation of equitable spaces and services.
- Accessibility means allowing all library users to use our collections, services, and spaces equitably.
- Antiracism is active resistance against individual racism as well as racist and white supremacist structures.
- Social justice aims to create a society in which wealth, opportunity, and political and social rights are distributed equitably.
Aspirations and Commitments
We acknowledge that we may never fully realize our aspirations, but we will continue to grow and work towards these ideals.
- Create accessible and inclusive learning communities and spaces for all library users and library workers.
- Actively reject intolerance, racism, and hate. Advocate for the rights and safety of our community.
- Identify and combat systems of oppression in libraries and archives.
- Continue to change. Recognize that continuous learning and transparency are necessary in order for the library to successfully serve the UMD community.
- We commit to increasing representation in our collections and mitigating the harms caused by racist materials.
- We commit to accepting feedback, acknowledging our mistakes as we learn, and changing our services and spaces to reflect our learning.
- We commit to transparency in library decision making and welcome questions from library users.
- We commit to increasing the accessibility of our spaces, website, and collections.
- We commit to working to ensure our hiring, onboarding, and retention practices are inclusive and equitable. Library workers, including student workers, deserve to feel safe and supported.
If you have questions, feedback, or ideas, please contact us at [email protected]
January 2023-December 2025 Strategic Goals
- Enhance our understanding of the needs and interests of our community, especially populations currently not well served
- Build capacity for gathering community input
- Implement ways of gathering student input, especially from underserved populations on campus, including Black students, students of color, and Indigenous students, in ways that respect student time
- Identify necessary adjustments to library services, resources, and events and begin implementing those changes
- Create a plan for updating library spaces to respond to user needs and interests
- Identify spaces in the library that need repurposing
- Prepare for the transition of the Library Annex, including a new Archives space
- Study and address physical accessibility issues in the buildings and digital accessibility issues on the website
- Explore feasibility of changing spaces to reflect changing student needs
- Identify and prioritize spaces needing a facilities refresh such as carpeting, wood paneling, and furnishings
- Improve clarity about how and why to use the library
- Help library users navigate the physical collections and physical spaces
- Help library users develop information literacy skills, including navigating the information landscape and utilizing digital and physical collections
- Provide outreach to faculty, staff, and students about library services and expertise
- Create, better organize, and advertise “how to use the library” resources
- Create a sustainable collection management plan for physical and digital collections
- Set desired target age for physical and ebook collections and set desired footprint for physical collections
- Establish regular inventory, review, and deselection timeline for library collections
- Identify key personnel required for ongoing collection management projects and deselection and equitably integrate those tasks into their position descriptions
- Implement workflows to incorporate more graduate student research and writing into our institutional repository
- Create an Archives and Special Collections collection development and management policy
- Support library staff in creating an empowering and inclusive work environment
- Improve internal communication
- Build cohesion with new staff members, between library teams, and across flexible work arrangements
- Review and revise recruitment and onboarding processes with the goal of making them more equitable and inclusive
- Support flexible work arrangements, including establishing workplace norms for teamwork, collaboration, and technology deployment
- Work to ensure appropriate workloads for library staff that support a healthy work/life balance
Who Is Kathryn A. Martin?
The Kathryn A. Martin Library, completed in September 2000, was named for UMD's eighth chancellor. She was the first female chancellor in the University of Minnesota system, serving from 1995-2010 and leaving a legacy of robust growth, 12 new buildings, and major renovations. The UMD Library was renamed in her honor on October 7, 2013.