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Wednesday, November 6 • 6:20pm - 7:00pm
S2-08 Strategies for building inclusive collections in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): The case of the Grand Challenges of Engineering

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Diversity, inclusion and equity are key components expressed in many institutions’ mission statements. It is not enough to enroll diverse students and hire faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds, it is also necessary to have inclusive collections for learning, teaching and research. Since STEM principles and concepts are universal, what then do we mean by inclusive STEM collection? I asked five questions and gave one answer.

My first strategy is to study the Grand Challenges of Engineering which were developed by the National Academy of Engineering in 2008 with updates every year. The purpose of the Challenges was to raise public awareness, especially among young people of some of the biggest global issues of our time and the roles that engineers and engineering must play in addressing them (NAE, 2008). They identified fourteen broad areas which include providing access to clean water, making solar energy economical, advancing health informatics, engineering better medicines, and preventing nuclear terror. In order to achieve its purpose, students, faculty and researchers must have relevant resources in the collection. Therefore, publishers must publish in the fourteen broad areas of the challenges and librarians must enrich their collections with the same. The challenges are not only for the United States, they are global. Since their development in 2008, the challenges have received little attention from STEM librarians and publishers alike. This poster is to create an awareness among librarians and publishers of the potential nature of the grand challenges in adding diversity to STEM collections.

To begin, the approval plan profile must be rewritten to make sure that opportunities created by the Grand Challenges are well represented in the profile, particularly in the non- subject parameters such as geographical specifications, globalization, and interdisciplinary studies that involve developing countries, LGBTQ+, and Native American Studies for example.The same strategy is applied in selecting titles for purchase with firm order funds.

Who will benefit from the display: STEM collection librarians, liaisons, new engineering librarians, publishers will all learn from this poster presentation

avatar for Ibironke Lawal

Ibironke Lawal

Science and Engineering Collections Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University
I have been at VCU for over a decade as collections librarian and liaison to the School of Engineering and science departments in the College of Humanities and Sciences. Developing and maintaining relevant collections, providing effective service to students, moving them toward academic... Read More →

Wednesday November 6, 2019 6:20pm - 7:00pm EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel