90 Pages


SUMMARY. This article is a qualitative study that identifies the need for diagnostic work before implementation of diversity initiatives. It is also a discussion of the development of an assessment instrument used to collect and report data from three pilot groups using the instrument. The

goal of implementing diversity initiatives is to establish long-term strategies that will bring about positive change in human interaction in changing organizational culture in the workplace. To achieve this, it is important to assess where we are, and envision how the organization should continue to grow and change. [Article copies available for a fee ji'om The Haworth Document Delil'el:v Service: I-BOO-HAWORTH. E-mail address: <[email protected] .com> Website: <http://v.'WwHaw0l1hPress .com> © 2001 by The Haworth Press, /IlC. All rights reserred.]

KEYWORDS. Diversity, organizational behavior, assessment, diversity initiatives, strategic planning, organizational change, work climate, academic libraries


Workforce diversity is one of the most widely discussed issues in our society today. "In the next decade the work force in the United States will clearly be far older and more heterogeneous. Nearly half of all workers will be women, and more than 30% will more than likely be members of minority groups, with approximately 40% of the work force being over the age of 45.'" The irony ofthis is that we are not responding appropriately to the changes in demographics. What has been observed on the national level is that when there is a rise in acts of racial violence, intolerance, and creation of invisible barriers, the probability of having a productive work environment is not possible. Since the academic library is a mirror of society, a similar pattern might be found in its ability to function as a workplace. According to Chemers, "Organizations must provide ongoing educational opportunity to develop communication skills necessary for effective collaboration and work across cultures. Interpersonal skills needed to handle such situations of conflict do not come naturally. Volatile issues will come, and employees will need to know how to deal with backlash, diversity, prejudice and stereotyping. "2