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To Inclusivity and Beyond:
Developing a Library Service where all
flying styles are welcome.
Sally Bridge
Flying styles:
• Customers with disabilities
• Customers with poor mental
health
• International customers
• LGBT customer...
Diversity is being
invited to the party;
inclusion is being
asked to dance
Verna A. Myers, 2012
‘Moving Diversity Forward:...
Customers with Disabilities
•Existing infrastructure for physical disabilities
• Access and mobility
•Barriers to inclusio...
Asking questions
• Customer engagement
• Survey of all students with disabilities
• Customer Journey Maps
• Learning from ...
Consider both physical and hidden disabilities
• Impaired mobility
• Long-standing medical conditions
• Hearing or visual ...
Becoming inclusive
• Be visible and welcoming
• Ensure access to appropriate
study spaces
• Facilitate independent study
•...
Customers with poor mental health
Library pressure points:
• Study space demand
• Exams/assignment deadlines
• Fines
• Boo...
International Customers
Barriers to inclusion – survey results
• Arriving at different times to other students
• Cultural ...
Inclusive Approach
• Rethink our welcome
• Get creative
• Improve our accessibility
• Increase our understanding
LGBT Customers
•Social stigma
‘LGB&/T people have higher
rates of self-harm, suicidal
ideations, suicide attempts
and depr...
Student Parents
• Academic library
• Silent study
• Essay deadline
• School holidays
• Childcare costs
Student Union reque...
Other Disadvantaged Customers
• Distance Learners
• Online requesting
• Document delivery
• Remote support
• Potential cus...
Whether our
customers want to
dance or fly, we
should work with
them to ensure that
they can do so as
easily and
independe...
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To Inclusivity and Beyond! Developing a Library Service where all flying styles are made welcome. Sally Bridge

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With Customer Service at the heart of everything we do at Queen’s University Belfast Library Services, it is essential that all of our customers are made to feel welcome and included. A pivotal element of the Customer Service Excellence Standard, through which we have been accredited for four consecutive years, is that we break down our customers into groups, each of which has key characteristics and needs. This gives us in-depth insights into how we can best develop our services to meet these needs. However, to be truly inclusive we need to identify all groups which are in any way marginalised and try to address their individual needs.

This presentation will consider these traditionally excluded customers and where our service has, in the past, fallen short of making them feel included. It will look at the different ways that we have discovered this inequality and the changes which we have implemented to address this.

There will be an initial reflection on our customers with disabilities, looking beyond physical accessibility into creating a space which welcomes those with mental health and specific learning difficulties. International customers who are battling with cultural differences, often while still grappling with the English language, will also be discussed. The presentation will then go on to consider other marginalised groups of people such as student parents, LGBT customers and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

While it is challenging to create a space which is fully inclusive and meets the individual needs of every customer, it is important that, despite Woody’s derision of Buzz Lightyear’s flying style, we do everything we can to allow our customers to fly in whatever style they want!

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To Inclusivity and Beyond! Developing a Library Service where all flying styles are made welcome. Sally Bridge

  1. 1. To Inclusivity and Beyond: Developing a Library Service where all flying styles are welcome. Sally Bridge
  2. 2. Flying styles: • Customers with disabilities • Customers with poor mental health • International customers • LGBT customers • Student parents • Other disadvantaged customers
  3. 3. Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance Verna A. Myers, 2012 ‘Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well- Doing’. Diversity is going to a party; Inclusion is being a member of the party-planning committee Daniel Juday, 2017 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/inc lusion-isnt-being-asked-dance- daniel-juday/
  4. 4. Customers with Disabilities •Existing infrastructure for physical disabilities • Access and mobility •Barriers to inclusion: • 10,000+ customers per day • Demand for study space • Heavy demand books
  5. 5. Asking questions • Customer engagement • Survey of all students with disabilities • Customer Journey Maps • Learning from others • Disability Sports NI • AccessAble database • Conference attendance
  6. 6. Consider both physical and hidden disabilities • Impaired mobility • Long-standing medical conditions • Hearing or visual impairments • Specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, dyspraxia) • Autism spectrum disorder Barriers to inclusion
  7. 7. Becoming inclusive • Be visible and welcoming • Ensure access to appropriate study spaces • Facilitate independent study • Be flexible • Strive to continually improve
  8. 8. Customers with poor mental health Library pressure points: • Study space demand • Exams/assignment deadlines • Fines • Book availability Relieving the pressure: • Student Wellbeing Collection • Are Ye Well campaign • Fines repayment plans
  9. 9. International Customers Barriers to inclusion – survey results • Arriving at different times to other students • Cultural differences • Library language and terminology
  10. 10. Inclusive Approach • Rethink our welcome • Get creative • Improve our accessibility • Increase our understanding
  11. 11. LGBT Customers •Social stigma ‘LGB&/T people have higher rates of self-harm, suicidal ideations, suicide attempts and depression than the wider population.’ Role of the University Student & staff LGBT networks Increased visibility – lanyards Presence at pride Role of the Library Celebrate LGBT History Month LGBT book displays https://www.rainbow-project.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=fce626f4-de30-40d4-bf4f-43dd4afc39ea
  12. 12. Student Parents • Academic library • Silent study • Essay deadline • School holidays • Childcare costs Student Union request for support: • Individual bookable study rooms • Children’s book collection • Staff awareness: proactive help
  13. 13. Other Disadvantaged Customers • Distance Learners • Online requesting • Document delivery • Remote support • Potential customers from disadvantaged backgrounds • Library outreach • Engagement tours
  14. 14. Whether our customers want to dance or fly, we should work with them to ensure that they can do so as easily and independently as possible. Email: s.bridge@qub.ac.uk Images: www.pixabay.com

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