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Inclusive recruitment

What we are doing to ensure that our workforce and our service is more diverse

Why we need to act

We recognise the imbalance in the ethnicity of the staff working here in the Library, and want to work towards making this fairer and more representative of our users, and to make our service more diverse.

SCONUL (The Society of College, National and University Libraries), a body which represents all university libraries in the UK & Ireland, published a report in 2019 stating that:

The need for greater ethnic diversity of the library workforce was a strong sentiment expressed by BAME staff (in the research). There was an overwhelming view that greater diversity of the workforce was important from both a social justice as well as business case standpoint.

Ishaq, Dr M. and Hussain, Dr A.M. (2019). BAME staff experiences of academic and research libraries. SCONUL.

What we are doing

We are working with an organisation called PATH Yorkshire. PATH Yorkshire works with employers and organisations in tackling the underrepresentation of people from ethnically diverse backgrounds in their workforce, so we felt confident in working with them to take some positive action.

Over the last two years, we have worked with PATH to recruit to two consecutive one-year positive action Library Trainee roles. This one-year placement is designed to give trainees a real understanding of all aspects of library work, and valuable transferable skills, in addition to completing a Level 3 qualification in Library & Information Studies alongside the practical work experience.

We are very pleased to say the first of our trainees was ultimately successful in obtaining a permanent role in the Library team at the end of the traineeship.

Our trainees

Photograph of Asma Aziz - PATH Trainee


"Since the day I stepped into the world of User Services and the University Library I have learnt a lot… I started with shadowing and gradually built up my confidence to work independently. I was encouraged, supported, and motivated by everyone around me… The whole time I have been gaining confidence with the impressively designed traineeship and enjoyed the momentum of working and learning... and have learnt a lot from such a professional environment.


"The Library has been a warm and friendly environment to work at. The staff are welcoming and it is always lovely interacting with the students! Learning what happens behind the scenes at a university library, and understanding how all members of staff play a role in making student life comfortable, has been wonderful. It is always interesting meeting new people and understanding more about their roles, which also encourages me to learn new skills along the way!"

Next steps

We feel that the traineeships have been a success, and we hope to continue with these in the future. We will be continually reviewing the traineeship to ensure it is working and looking at what additional steps we can take to enhance our offering and give extra value, and to ensure it is rounded and beneficial.

We hope to continue to recruit a wide and diverse range of people to our team, and to encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to any vacancies that arise. 

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