Speaking Up: Empowering Individuals to Promote Tolerance in the Academic Library

Jeffrey A. Knapp, Loanne Snavely, Linda Klimczyk


Diversity issues are taking on increased significance and are being included as a part of academic libraries’ strategic plans, often with the goal of improving the overall climate for diversity. Empowering employees to discuss and resolve diversity-related conflicts themselves and offering them some practical strategies to do so are activities the literature supports for improving climate. Members of the Penn State University Libraries Diversity Committee created an interactive workshop using media and discussion to address these issues based on and adapted from Speak Up!, a program from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Other libraries can use this program as a model for meeting diversity objectives in their strategic plans.


diversity; empowerment; conflict management; racism; intolerance

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American library Association Texas Digital Library