Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

SCONUL is committed to be an active partner in driving the change we all recognise is needed to foster equality, diversity and inclusion and to supporting our members to do the same. SCONUL Executive Director, Ann Rossiter, sits on a cross-professional services group entitled 'Tackling the lack of ethnic diversity at senior level of student facing professional roles'.

In 2019, SCONUL commissioned research to capture the lived experiences of BAME professionals in their own voices in member institutions. The report, BAME staff experiences of academic and research libraries, invites those who lead academic and research libraries to hear the experiences of their staff and to act now to nurture and support them into the profession and leadership roles.  We will be repeating this research in 2025.


Bournemouth University


Following the publication of SCONUL’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarking Report (SCONUL,2022), and as part of our on-going commitment to help drive improvements in equality, diversity and inclusion across the library sector, data on the ethnic diversity of the workforce have been captured for the first time. 

The purpose of the collection of this data has been to gain a greater understanding of the ethnic make-up of SCONUL members workforce to inform future actions to improve diversity in the library workforce and to provide a benchmark against which to assess progress in addressing inequality. It is designed to complement the work being undertaken by CILIP, but also to give a greater understanding, not only of numbers, but more granular details around job titles, salary, contract types, working patterns and length of time in current role. This is important because equity requires more than just fairness in terms of number of staff employed, but also fairness in terms of pay, job security, promotion and career development. 

We published our first report on the make-up of the academic library workforce in October 2023: SCONUL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics report: Ethnicity of our Workforce and we will be repeating the data collection on a biennial basis.

SCONUL offers Advance HE anti-racism training at a subsidised price for all institutions and positive action case studies, showcasing sector graduate traineeships and next steps for organisations.

In 2023,  a scoping study was commissioned around leadership training for ethnically diverse communities within libraries. This study has been funded by Arts Council England with contributions from the commissioning partners: Research Libraries UK (RLUK); Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP); Libraries Connected; SCONUL; Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL; and Wales Higher Education Library Forum (WHELF). Questions regarding this research should be directed to ann.rossiter@sconul.ac.uk