Leadership for Diversity

University of Missouri-Columbia
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
Fall 2016



Leadership to promote employment and organizational diversity within public libraries in the U.S. This course includes management and diversity theories, discussions of workplace climate, and discussions of discrimination and hostility issues.


Professor Denice Adkins
Office: 303 Townsend Hall, Columbia MO 65211
Phone: (573) 884-9804
Fax: (573) 884-4944
E-mail: adkinsde@missouri.edu
Office Hours: Mondays, 5-6 p.m. on Collaborate Ultra, or by appointment, any afternoon.



As our American culture grows more diverse, the likelihood of working with diverse employees and diverse communities increases. This course will focus on leadership and diversity within public libraries, including issues such as teambuilding with a diverse workforce, recruiting and hiring for diversity, mastering cross-cultural competence and communication skills, and building diversity awareness and acceptance in staff and community members.

This course has been developed as one of four courses of the PuLL (Public Library Leaders) program at the University of Missouri. It has been designed to give students practical knowledge to begin work as a public library manager serving diverse patrons and staff.



LIS Student Learning Outcomes (http://lis.missouri.edu/mission)

This course meets the following LIS Student Learning Outcomes:

  • SLO 5: Students recognize and respond to diverse information needs and user groups and serve as advocates for lifelong learning.
  • SLO 6: Students apply management principles and other cross-disciplinary perspectives to inform best practices in library and information agency environments.


Class Learning Objectives and Assignments

·         Class Learning Objective 1: Students will create and critique a public library diversity policy within the framework of Missouri and federal legislation and ALA and MLA policies.

o   Assignment: Library Diversity Policy Review

·         Class Learning Objective 2: Students will assess a public library’s cultural competence and make recommendations for improvement and progress. 

o   Assignment: Workplace Cultural Competence Assessment

·         Class Learning Objective 3: Students will solve problems and make decisions related to workplace discrimination, hostility, and discomfort. 

o   Assignment: Case Study 1, Case Study 2

·         Class Learning Objective 4: Students will gain understanding and experience in project management.

o   Assignment: Group Project




Online Course Access

You may access the course via http://courses.missouri.edu. Under course login, select Canvas and enter your PawPrint. If you have difficulty logging in to the course or you do not see the course listed, please contact the Mizzou IT Help Desk at 573/882-5000. You MUST enable Compatibility View with Internet Explorer 8.


Library Resources and E-Res

Access to the library will be critical to your academic success. To learn more about how to access the library from a distance, please visit the University of Missouri Library Distance Education Support Service page at: http://mulibraries.missouri.edu/distance/. Kimberly Moeller, MU Library’s LIS Liaison, has developed a LibGuide to assist LIS students, accessible at: http://libraryguides.missouri.edu/libraryscience. This course may use resources and materials accessible via the Electronic Reserve System (E-Res): http://eres.missouri.edu.


Help Available

If you are having any technical difficulties (e.g., logging in, accessing the discussion board) please email helpdesk@missouri.edu or contact the DoIT Help Desk at 573/882-5000 (for out-of-area Mizzou Online students, toll-free at 866/241-5619).


Online Class Netiquette

Your instructor and fellow students wish to foster a safe on-line learning environment. All opinions and experiences, no matter how different or controversial they may be perceived, must be respected in the tolerant spirit of academic discourse. You are encouraged to comment, question, or critique an idea but you are not to attack an individual.


Our differences, some of which are outlined in the University’s nondiscrimination statement below, will add richness to this learning experience. Please consider that sarcasm and humor can be misconstrued in online interactions and generate unintended disruptions. Working as a community of learners, we can build a polite and respectful course ambience.


Collaborate Ultra

This class uses Collaborate Ultra, a real-time, digital learning environment independent of a physical classroom. Students and instructors can participate in distance learning and collaboration regardless of their physical location using their own computer. Complete technical specifications including hardware and browser information is found online. To fully participate in a Collaborate Ultra session, we recommend using a headset with microphone for improved audio quality. A webcam is necessary for you to appear on video. Many laptops already have built-in webcams so make sure you check before purchasing a webcam. Even if your laptop does have a built-in microphone you may still wish to purchase a headset.


There is no required textbook for this class. Additional materials will be available online via MU Libraries and/or provided in the syllabus.










Fewer than 70 points

The Grade of D is not awarded to graduate students.


Late Work Policy: Late work will receive a 10% penalty Please contact me as soon as possible if an event or situation precludes you turning your assignment in at the deadline. You may turn assignments in early.



The assignments for this class are practice-based and community-focused. All of these assignments require you to synthesize a considerable amount of information and present it in a coherent, structured fashion.


Assignment Title

Point Value

Due Date

Identity Circles


August 22 (in class activity)

Case Studies I


October 17 (in class activity)

Case Studies II


October 31 (in class activity)

Library Diversity Policy Review


October 9, 11:59 p.m.

Workplace Cultural Competence Assessment


December 4, 11:59 p.m.

Project: Black Archives of Mid-America Work


Project reports due periodically throughout the semester, final project report due December 16

Class Attendance and Participation




Assignment Submission Instructions: Each written assignment must be submitted through the course assignment system (accessible via the Assignments button on the Course Navigation Menu) by the date/time specified. All course assignments must be submitted as Rich Text Format, or RTF (one of the Save As options in your word processing program), DOC, or DOCX.


Discussion Board Questions

At various times during the semester, I may post discussion board questions for you to answer.


Your discussion question posts will be assessed using the following guidelines. Your original postings addressing the discussion questions should be made no later than five days after the question was posted (e.g., if the question is posted on Monday, your reply should be posted on Wednesday). Final postings commenting and reflecting upon the comments of your peers should be made no later than seven days after the question is posted (e.g., final responses for a question posted on Monday should be made no later than Sunday). Late postings will not be given credit.


You are assessed based on the quality of your postings and not the quantity. The following rubric may help you understand what a quality discussion post includes.


Discussion Posting Grading Criteria


Meaningful and New Ideas: Ideas examine topic from new perspective that contributes to group understanding of topic


Message Coherence: Messages explain issues, provide new perspectives, effectively question, or meaningfully elaborate on topic


Relevance of Replies to Other Messages: Responses elaborate, contradict, modify, or explain the original message





  • What to Expect from a Technology-Enhanced Course – This course is designed to meet both face-to-face and virtually. It is essential that you access the course site Monday through Friday for course announcements, interact with your small discussion group, submit assignments, take online quizzes, etc.
  • What the Instructor and Your Peers Expect from You – By enrolling in this course, you have agreed to contribute to group work, projects, and discussions. This will require you to work with your peers outside of class as well as in class. This will require a team effort, with respect and help for each other, as we build a community of learners. We also expect that you will have a foundational understanding of Internet terms and functions. All general class correspondence should be submitted to the relevant Discussion Board forum; personal or confidential matters should be directed to the instructor in e-mail.
  • What You May Expect from the Instructor – Monitor and facilitate class discussions (Monday through Friday), respond to private questions within 24 to 48 hours, provide timely feedback on written assignments and projects, and help build a learning community.



Your weekly routine: It is a good idea to set up a schedule for attending to your class work. Most weeks, we will have a live class meeting via Collaborate on Monday evenings. You should do the weekly readings by the Sunday before class to ensure that you can discuss them knowledgeably. For the remainder of the week, you are expected to work on discussion questions and/or projects. Your projects and group assignments may require you to meet with your group or respond to your group throughout the week. Expect to login to the course site no fewer than 2-3 times. Scheduled, that might look like you spending an hour visiting the course site on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.


Each week of the course will have a corresponding instructional unit which includes your assigned reading, instructor commentary, and weekly discussion questions. In addition to posting your own original posting addressing the discussion question by the specified date, you must comment/reflect upon the postings of your peers by the close of the grading period.


Week 1:

Dates: August 22-26

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – August 22, 7:30 p.m.,

Topic/Main Idea: Developing a Shared Language and Framework to Explore Diversity

Objective: To gain a common set of definitions to describe diversity issues and diverse populations.


·         Castania, K. (2003). The evolving language of diversity. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Cooperative Extension.


·         Identity Circles (in class activity)

·         What’s Your Management Style? (online quiz)

Assessment: Identity Circles Assignment


Week 2:

Dates: August 29-September 2

Topic/Main Idea: Project Management in Libraries

Objective: To understand the premise and function of project management and to prepare for the project you will be doing in class.


·         Note, M. (2016). Project Management for Information Professionals. Boston, MA: Elsevier.

o    Chapter 1, sections 1.1 and 1.2

o    Chapter 2, sections 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7

o    Chapter 3, sections 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7

o    Appendix A. Project Management Considerations

o    Appendix E. Templates.

Activities: Discussion and division of roles, responsibilities, abilities, and strengths
Assessment: Group Project (Project Reports due September 11, October 9, November 13; Final Report and Project due December 16).


Week 3:

Dates: September 5-9

Topic/Main Idea: Individual and Group Identity

Objective: To further investigate the notion of identity and how it influences concepts of diversity and community.


·         Alabi, J. (2015). "This actually happened": An analysis of librarians’ responses to a survey about racial microaggressions. Journal of Library Administration, 55(3), 179-191.

·         Project Implicit Social Attitudes (personality test)

·         White People (MTV Documentary). YouTube.

·         Hsu, H. (2015). The trouble with “White People.” The New Yorker.


Week 4:

Dates: September 12-16

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – September 12, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Legal Aspects of Diversity

Objective: To understand and gain knowledge of the legal framework within which employers in the United States operate.


·         Department of Labor (n.d.). Labor laws and links. Available at http://labor.mo.gov/laws.

·         Human rights. (n.d.). Missouri Revised Statutes. Available at http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/21300000551.HTML.

·         Laws enforced by the EEOC (n.d.). Available at https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/index.cfm.

·         Prohibited employment policies/practices (n.d.). Available at https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/practices/index.cfm.

Activities: Discussion of readings.

Assessment: Library Diversity Policy Review (due October 9)


Week 5:

Dates: September 19-23

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – September 19, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Policy Aspects of Diversity

Objective: To understand and gain knowledge of diversity policies, especially those held by professional organizations such as the American Library Association.


·         Bias in the workplace (n.d.). Available at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/workplace/bias.

·         Civility and diversity (n.d.). Available at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/workplace/civility.

·         Cultural diversity policy statement (2015). Missouri Library Handbook. Available at http://molib.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Handbook-REVISION-2_2015.pdf.

·         Diversity (n.d.). ALA Policy Manual. Available at http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/policymanual/updatedpolicymanual/section2/diversity.

·         Edwards, J. B. (2015). Developing and implementing a diversity plan at your academic library. Library Leadership & Management, 30(2), 1-11.

·         Strategic planning for diversity (n.d.). Available at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/workplace/diversityplanning.

Activities: Discussion of readings.

Assessment: Library Diversity Policy Review (due October 9)


Week 6:

Dates: September 26-30

Topic/Main Idea: Diversity and Public Libraries

Objective: To gain awareness of how diversity among library staff has influenced public libraries.


·         Jackson County Public Library Diversity Plan (2006). Available at http://www.myjclibrary.org/diversity-plan/.

·         San Francisco Public Library Policies (n.d.). Available at http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000057801.

·         Seattle Public Library Diversity Policy (2000). Available at http://www.spl.org/about-the-library/library-use-policies/diversity.

·         Vancouver Public Library Diversity and Inclusion Statement (2010). Available at https://www.vpl.ca/about/details/diversity_and_inclusion_statement.

Activities: Watch video clips from Large Missouri Library Directors (in course module)

Assessment: Library Diversity Policy Review (due October 9)


Week 7:

Dates: October 3-7

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – October 3, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Hiring for Diversity

Objective: To understand the challenges of hiring diverse librarians and staff, and how to maximize your likelihood of making those hires.


·         Adkins, D., Virden, C., & Yier, C. (2015). Learning about diversity: The roles of LIS education, LIS associations, and lived experience. Library Quarterly, 85(2), 139-149.

·         al-Qallaf, C. L., & Mika, J. J. (2013). The role of multiculturalism and diversity in library and information science: LIS education and the job market. Libri, 63(1): 1-20.

Activities: Discussion of readings and hiring issues.



Week 8:

Dates: October 10-14

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – October 10, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Workplace Conflict and Discrimination

Objective: To understand how workplace conflict occurs and gain a repertoire of responses in such situations.


·         Brown, M. E. (2015). Invisible debility: Attitudes toward the underrepresented in library workplaces. Public Library Quarterly, 34(2), 124-133.

·         Crumpton, M. A. (2014). The costs of having a bully in the library. Bottom Line, 27(1), 17-21.

Activities: Distribute case studies, small group work time

Assessment: Case Study I (in class activity, October 17)


Week 9:

Dates: October 17-21

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – October 17, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Workplace Conflict and Discrimination, continued

Objective: To understand how workplace conflict occurs and gain a repertoire of responses in such situations.

Activities: Case Study I presentations

Assessment: Case Study I (in class activity, October 17), Case Study Write-Ups (due no later than midnight, October 21)


Week 10:

Dates: October 24-28

Topic/Main Idea: Cultural Competence

Objective: To understand cultural competence, what it means, and how to achieve it as library professionals.


·         Overall, P. M. (2009). Cultural competence: A conceptual framework for library and information science professionals. Library Quarterly, 79(2): 175-204.

·         Kumasi, K. D., & Hill, R. F. (2013). Examining the hidden ideologies within cultural competence discourses among Library and Information Science (LIS) students: Implications for school library pedagogy. School Libraries Worldwide, 19(1): 128-141.

Activities: Distribute case studies; groups schedule times to meet.

Assessment: Case Study II (in-class activity, October 31)


Week 11:

Dates: October 31-November 4

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – October 31, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Cultural Competence, continued

Objective: To understand cultural competence, what it means, and how to achieve it in library organizations.


·         Kreitz, P. A. (2008). Best practices for managing organizational diversity. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(2), 101-120.

·         Smith, P. M. (2008). Culturally conscious organizations: A conceptual framework. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 8(2), 141-155.

Activities: Case Study II presentations

Assessment: Case Study II (in-class activity, October 31), Case Study Write-Ups (due no later than midnight, November 4)



Week 12:

Dates: November 7-11

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – November 7, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Assessing the Workplace Diversity Climate

Objective: To understand the elements that make up a diverse and supportive workplace, and to be able to analyze your own workplace diversity climate.


·         Coats, R., Goodwin, J. G., & Bangs, P. C. (2000). Seeking the best path: Assessing a library’s diversity climate. Library Administration & Management, 14(3): 148-154.

·         Kyrillidou, M., Lowry, C., Hanges, P., Aiken, J., & Justh, K. (2009). ClimateQUAL: Organizational climate and diversity assessment. College & Research Libraries News, 70(3): 154-157.

Activities: Discussion of readings.

Assessment: Workplace Cultural Competence Assessment (due December 4)


Week 13:

Dates: November 14-18

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – November 14, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Assessing the Workplace Diversity Climate, continued

Objective: To understand the elements that make up a diverse and supportive workplace, and to be able to analyze your own workplace diversity climate.


·         Wheeler, R. (2015). We all do it: Unconscious behavior, bias, and diversity. Law Library Journal, 107(2), 325-331.

Activities: Discussion of readings.

Assessment: Workplace Cultural Competence Assessment (due December 4)


Week 14:

Dates: November 28-December 2

Topic/Main Idea: Managing for Diversity

Objective: To understand the issues inherent in managing a diverse workforce.


·         Jordan, M. W. (2015). Competencies for public library managers: Diversity in practice. Library Management, 36(6/7), 462-475.

·         Winston, M. (2010). Managing diversity. Library Administration & Management, 24(3), 58-63.

Activities: Discussion of readings.



Week 15:

Dates: December 5-9

Class Meeting – Collaborate Ultra – December 5, 7:30 p.m.

Topic/Main Idea: Promotion and Career Management for Diversity

Objective: To understand how to help your diverse librarians and staff work toward promotion and professional growth.


·         Bugg, K. (2016). The perceptions of people of color in academic libraries concerning the relationship between retention and advancement as middle managers. Journal of Library Administration, 56(4), 428-443.

Activities: Discussion of readings.




REQUIRED SYLLABUS INFORMATION [available at http://provost.missouri.edu/faculty/syllabus-information.php]

Sample Statement for Academic Dishonesty

Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person’s work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed, and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards breaches of the academic integrity rules as extremely serious matters. Sanctions for such a breach may include academic sanctions from the instructor, including failing the course for any violation, to disciplinary sanctions ranging from probation to expulsion. When in doubt about plagiarism, paraphrasing, quoting, collaboration, or any other form of cheating, consult the course instructor.


Sample Statement for ADA

Students with Disabilities:

If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of this course, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need to make arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please let me know as soon as possible.

If disability related accommodations are necessary (for example, a note taker, extended time on exams, captioning), please register with the MU Disability Center, S5 Memorial Union, 573-882-4696, and then notify me of your eligibility for reasonable accommodations.


Sample Statement for Intellectual Pluralism

The University community welcomes intellectual diversity and respects student rights. Students who have questions or concerns regarding the atmosphere in this class (including respect for diverse opinions) may contact the departmental chair or divisional director; the director of the Office of Students Rights and Responsibilities; the MU Equity Office, or equity@missouri.edu.

All students will have the opportunity to submit an anonymous evaluation of the instructor(s) at the end of the course.


Sample Statement for Executive Order #38, Academic Inquiry, Course Discussion and Privacy

Faculty not allowing recording:

University of Missouri System Executive Order No. 38 lays out principles regarding the sanctity of classroom discussions at the university. The policy is described fully in section 200.015 of the Collected Rules and Regulations. In this class, students may not make audio or video recordings of course activity, except students permitted to record as an accommodation under section 240.040 of the Collected Rules. All other students who record and/or distribute audio or video recordings of class activity are subject to discipline in accordance with provisions of section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri pertaining to student conduct matters.


Those students who are permitted to record are not permitted to redistribute audio or video recordings of statements or comments from the course to individuals who are not students in the course without the express permission of the faculty member and of any students who are recorded. Students found to have violated this policy are subject to discipline in accordance with provisions of section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri pertaining to student conduct matters.


University of Missouri Notice of Nondiscrimination

The University of Missouri System is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action institution and is nondiscriminatory relative to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran. Any person having inquiries concerning the University of Missouri’s compliance with implementing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, or other civil rights laws should contact the Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resource Services, University of Missouri, 1095 Virginia Avenue, Columbia, Mo. 65211, 573/882-4256, or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.


If you experience discrimination, you are encouraged (but not required) to report the incident to the MU Office for Civil Rights & Title IX. Learn more about your rights and options at civilrights.missouri.edu or call 573-882-3880.  You also may make an anonymous report online.


Students may also contact the Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center, a confidential resource, for advocacy and other support related to rape or power-based personal violence at rsvp@missouri.edu or 573-882-6638, or go to rsvp.missouri.edu.


Both the Office for Civil Rights & Title IX and the RSVP Center can provide assistance to students who need help with academics, housing, or other issues. 

Required Referral:  Mizzou employees are required to refer all incidents of sex discrimination to the Office for Civil Rights & Title IX. The Office connects students with resources and helps them decide whether they wish to file a complaint of discrimination.  To learn more, contact title9@missouri.edu or 573-882-3880, or go to civilrights.missouri.edu.



Grievance Policy

Information concerning student grade appeal procedures and non-academic grievances and appeals may be found in the Student Handbook.