LYRASIS Releases the LYRASIS 2020 DEI Survey Results Report

Atlanta, GA – August 28, 2020 – LYRASIS has released a report of the results on the LYRASIS 2020 DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Survey. Authored by Hannah Rosen, Strategist for Research and Scholarly Communication, and Jill Grogg, Strategist for Content and Scholarly Communication Initiatives, the report is based on a survey conducted in May 2020. The report can be accessed on the LYRASIS website. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as an aggregate present both opportunities and challenges for cultural heritage organizations. The goal of the survey was to map the landscape of DEI policies and initiatives in GLAM institutions across the United States. In an effort to gauge current policies and practices regarding DEI, LYRASIS surveyed its membership of more than 1,000 galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) institutions about their activities in three distinct areas: policy and infrastructure; recruiting, training, and retaining a diverse staff; and maintaining/building diverse collections. 
This report provides institutions with an opportunity to see where their efforts fall amongst the activities of their peers, a potential method for categorizing DEI initiatives assess whether those initiatives are effective. The report also identifies trends across a wide range of libraries, including: 

  • Libraries appear to be widely and actively thinking about DEI, at least insofar as the overwhelming majority have some sort of plan that incorporates specific DEI goals and objectives.
  • The majority of libraries provide training/professional development on topics such as sexual harassment, implicit bias, conflict resolution, active bystander, and discrimination, but most of it is optional rather than required.
  • Access to resources such as staff time and money is a critical factor in an organization’s ability to focus on DEI efforts and leaders at all levels within an organization have tremendous influence over whether DEI initiatives are pursued.

 The DEI report grew from the research priorities set by the LYRASIS Leader’s Circle at the LYRASIS Member Summit in October 2019. Building on the findings of the LYRASIS 2019 Accessibility Survey Report, LYRASIS members identified DEI as one of the main priorities for this year’s research agenda along with an analysis of open content. Since the Member Summit, LYRASIS created a new division, Research and Innovation, where these vital research areas will be investigated and reported moving forward. Robert Miller, CEO of LYRASIS, says of the report, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)are critical issues for all cultural heritage organizations today, including LYRASIS. As a mission-driven non-profit, along with our Board of Trustees, we have identified DEI and A (Accessibility) as strategic priorities for both our internal team and our wider community work. Last year at our Member Summit, we asked our Leaders Circle Members to identify the research areas that would be of greatest benefit to them and there was such interest in a further investigation into DEI and A that I was thrilled to add it as a second research focus for our team. I hope the results of the fine work our Research and Innovation team have done here is helpful for all galleries, libraries, archives, museums, and research organizations in our community.”