A Toolkit to Help Academics Look at the Diversity of their Reading List 

2023 Spring Forum: Keith Nockels


The plight of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff working in the academic and research library sector has been considerably under researched. In recognition of this, and an overall desire on the part of the Society for College and University Libraries (SCONUL) to advance equality, diversity and inclusion in academic and research libraries, this study explores the lived experiences of BAME library employees employed across UK universities.

Using a primarily qualitative methodological approach, involving focus groups and in-depth interviews, the findings reveal that some BAME staff were having to negotiate a hostile working environment and had experienced verbal harassment as well as lack of opportunities in relation to progression and promotion. Organisational systems and processes were not designed to address the challenges experienced by BAME library staff suggesting that a positive climate for diversity did not currently exist in the academic and research library sector. 


Keith Nockels is the Academic Librarian for health courses at the University of Leicester, and convenor of the Library’s Inclusive Collections Group (ICG).  The ICG aims to help library colleagues support academics diversifying or decolonising their teaching.  It is now starting work to address issues with language used in metadata.  The ICG aims to act as the Library’s link with wider University initiatives including the Institute for Inclusivity in Higher Education, ULIIHE.