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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Be a Living Library Book!

My extraordinary experience at the 4th National Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC) Conference

Experience the DEI Committee’s Living Library Program at Experience MLA 2023

Participate in Office of Management & Budget Initiative to Update MeSH Terminology OMB’s Statistical Standards for Race and Ethnicity

A Work in Progress: Strategies to Foster Diverse Leadership in Libraries

View all MLAConnect DEI articles


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Committee Positionality Statement

The leaders and members of MLA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee represent a number of intersectional identities, including a variety of diverse ethnicities and races, sexual orientations, gender identities, faiths, nationalities and citizenship statuses, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and (dis)abilities. Although we strive to represent the diverse voices of all MLA membership in DEI matters, we recognize that we can only speak from our own individual perspectives based on our own personal experiences. We as a Committee therefore invite feedback from all MLA members on an ongoing basis, so that our DEI work is as inclusive as possible.Submit your comments, suggestions, observations, or questions on the (anonymous) DEI virtual feedback form!


Committee Roster

Kelsa Bartley, AHIP
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Michael S. Fitts, Mr.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Alissa Fial
Marquette University
Ahlam Saleh
University of Arizona
Xiaoqian Zhang
School of Information Studies
Moyosore Adegboye
Chloe Hough
Molly K Maloney
University at Buffalo
Tara Douglas-Williams, AHIP
Emory University
Board Liaison
Tomi Gunn
Medical Library Association
Staff Liaison
Jessica Sender, AHIP
Michigan State University
Past Chair

Committee Charge

Established May 2020

The MLA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is the coordinating and advisory body that evaluates and seeks to improve MLA practices and programs as they relate to diversity, equity and inclusion*.

The committee shall:

  • promote and encourage a diverse MLA leadership at all levels;
  • be a voice for DEI within MLA;
  • advise and collaborate with MLA communities and committees on DEI-related issues;
  • encourage, recommend and contribute to DEI-related programs, events and resources for MLA members and the public;
  • recommend strategies to increase diversity in the profession;
  • lead special DEI-related projects as directed by the Board of Directors.

To that end, the committee activities may include:

  • liaising with the MLA Domain Hubs and Community Council to integrate the diverse views of MLA Caucuses into the broader MLA DEI vision, and to advise the community groups on DEI;
  • liaising with the Professional Recruitment and Retention Committee (PRRC) on strategies related to improving the diversity of the pipeline to the profession;
  • liaising with MLA headquarter staff to collect and analyze DEI data, and to create, update and guide the content of the MLA DEI microsite.

The DEI Committee composition should be inclusive and reflect the diversity of MLA membership. It includes:

  • 6 to 9 members at-large selected because of their expertise in DEI-related issues, who serve staggered three-year terms;
  • 1 chair-designate appointed from the pool of members at-large who will be serving their third year (or their second year if none are available);
  • the chair-designate becomes the chair the following year, and will serve a fourth year if applicable.

 *How MLA interprets diversity, equity and inclusion:

  • Diversity – ways that people are both alike and different; understanding, accepting, and valuing differences that include race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, political beliefs, language, culture, nationality, age, ability status, and religion
  • Equity – takes differences into account to ensure fair and impartial processes and outcomes, and equal opportunity
  • Inclusion – all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully; are intentionally valued for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; have equal access to resources and opportunities; feel a sense of belonging; and can contribute fully to the association’s success.