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Allen Memorial Library Policies and Procedures Manual: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

a collection of all policies and procedures for the VCSU Allen Memorial Library

Resources to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Territorial Acknowledgement/VCSU Land Acknowledgement

Allen Memorial Library Territorial Acknowledgement

Allen Memorial Library sits on the traditional lands of the Mdewakanton Dakota tribes and is deeply connected to the many indigenous peoples who have and continue to hold this land sacred.  We acknowledge the Mdewakanton Dakota people who resided here and recognize that the spirit of the Dakota people permeates this land.    

VCSU Land Acknowledgment

We hereby acknowledge that the VCSU campus sits on traditional and ancestral lands of the Red Lake and Pembina bands of Ojibwe, and Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Santee Dakota peoples. This land is deeply connected to the many indigenous people who have held and continue to hold it sacred. We pledge to work toward a strong and lasting relationship with Ojibwe and Dakota tribes as well as other indigenous peoples of our region to hold this land and community in celebration of its rich cultural history.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Allen Memorial Library strives to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome, and differences are valued and respected. We value the broad spectrum of human/social identities and strive to create and maintain a supportive atmosphere for all library users.

Per the American Libraries Association’s Library Bill of Rights, we support intellectual freedom within an environment of academic freedom and neither censor nor limit access to information while protecting the privacy of our users.

We endeavor to make the library welcoming and accessible to everyone. We intentionally create environments that provide a sense of belonging for all, from digitally accessible resources to our graphics, artwork, and physical spaces.

We believe that the library is the heart of the university, and we work to ensure Allen Memorial Library continues to grow as a site of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

For more information about diversity and inclusion at VCSU, visit the VCSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion.


Our statement was inspired by the diversity statements of the J. Murray Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte and San Diego State University Library.

Reviewed May 2023

Statement on Harmful Language and Content

As an academic library, we collect materials from different cultures, perspectives, and time periods to preserve and make available a broad array of information and ideas. As a result, the Allen Memorial Library's collections may contain materials that our community could find offensive and/or harmful. While we strive to use appropriate, inclusive, and respectful language today, we acknowledge that harmful and outdated language or terminology exists in our catalog records. In most cases, this language will be present in older bibliographic records that were created in years and decades past.

Harmful or offensive language may appear for the following reasons:

  • What constitutes appropriate language or terminology changes with context over time. This impacts the descriptive standards we apply to our collections.
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings, which enable standardized searching and access across libraries, retain certain problematic terms, and the process of reviewing and approving those headings is extensive and often involves legislative action, which may take months or years to resolve. 
  • Many historical items retain their original descriptions and language to ensure that attitudes and viewpoints remain part of the historical record.
  • We have transcribed information directly from the materials themselves. While this preserves important context, the creators’ biases and prejudices may also be reflected.

If you encounter any language that you consider to be harmful or offensive to yourself or others, we welcome your feedback, questions, or concerns. This is an ongoing process we are committed to undertaking.

Adapted from Gustavus Adolphus College’s Harmful Language Statement and informed by ongoing conversations within our fields.

Reviewed January 2023