We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) Nations and peoples on whose ancestral and unceded lands the three SFU Library branches are located. This statement reflects our current knowledge of traditional Indigenous territories –- knowledge that has necessarily been influenced by the legacy of colonialism in Canada. We will adapt this acknowledgement as appropriate, in keeping with our developing understanding. We further acknowledge that we have a deep responsibility to engage humbly, respectfully, and reciprocally with the Indigenous peoples whose communities, knowledge systems, and ways of life are intimately connected with the lands where we are now situated.
As articulated in the SFU Library 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) “make us stronger individually and collectively” and increase our capacity to support our communities. We work to make space for challenges to the status quo and recognize that through such challenges we are able to both transform and respond to the needs of our communities. The SFU Library acknowledges the pervasive influence of white supremacy and racism and the impacts of each on the library as a scholarly resource, a student space, and a workplace. We recognize that libraries often choose to position themselves as “free, accessible, and neutral.” This narrative of neutrality is false: libraries are institutions that hold power and privilege born from white supremacy, and this is not a neutral position. We recognize our complicity and commit ourselves to learning and making meaningful change.
The SFU Library commits itself to an ethic of care and responsiveness in order to deserve the expertise and knowledge of our colleagues, our community, and our collections. We place special emphasis on being welcoming, inclusive, and respectful of those peoples, expertise, and knowledge practices currently and/or historically marginalized or excluded.
For the purposes of this statement, we understand equity, diversity, and inclusion to mean the following:
Equity exists when responsibilities, resources, and opportunities are distributed fairly and justly among all group members and done so in a manner that works to resolve historical and current disadvantages for under-represented and marginalized groups.
Diversity refers to a broad range of human differences, including but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic position, ability, age, religion, and national origin. Further, as an academic institution, we are informed by diverse knowledge sharing practices and ways of thought.
Inclusion exists when all community members are recognized, respected, and welcomed, as well as enabled to freely engage with, question, and shape the community’s activities. A critical aspect of inclusion is being mindful of the impact that differences in power and privilege can have on perceptions, experiences, relationships, and freedom of expression.
SFU Library investment and commitment
The SFU Library invests in and commits to equity, diversity, and inclusion through:
Our staffing and culture
In our organization through staffing, intentional fostering of knowledge and awareness, and ongoing work to establish a culture of inclusion. We recognize that diversity is a characteristic of an organization as a whole and is not located at the level of an individual, and are therefore committed to moving beyond the use of isolated tokens of diversity that serve to distract from deeper systemic change;
In the services we offer through efforts taken to be welcoming and inclusive, and to place special emphasis on establishing services for members of the SFU community who are currently and/or have historically been marginalized or denied full participation in society;
In the technologies we support, adopt, and make available to our communities through sustained attention to the assumptions and biases that are coded into technologies and the ways that these technologies can thereafter shape and influence our interactions.
Collections, knowledge, and ways of knowing
In our approach to knowledge and ways of knowing through a continuing commitment to diversify our collections, actively expand the scope of what is valued as knowledge, and create equity, diversity, and inclusivity among our Library decision-makers. The Library’s strong support of freedom of information is balanced by our recognition that these rights cannot be taken as absolute, and by our commitment to privacy and the prevention of harm. We respect that, in certain cases, Indigenous cultural protocols may limit access to information and/or materials.
The SFU Library's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group exists to advise the University Librarian on the most effective ways to enact these commitments. The Working Group is committed to an antiracist framework. We apply the principles of antiracism to a broad spectrum of intersecting inequities in the Library, at SFU, and in our broader society. An antiracist approach pushes us to identify and name the inequities of the status quo, which we have been socialized by various forms of privilege not to see. An antiracist approach further challenges us to use our power to advocate for policies and practices that dismantle those inequities. Through this antiracist practice, the working group will make recommendations to help make Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion foundational to all aspects of Library programming and services, as well as to the Library as a workplace.