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Diversity Overview

The Library's vision and recent actions taken.

Diversity statement

The Library is a world-class cultural and intellectual resource that underpins the UK research infrastructure and the UK’s creative economy. It is in the UK’s economic and social interests that all talented and innovative citizens make use of our services.

Our vision is “to promote ready access to the British Library’s collection” and “to exist for everyone who wants to do research”, in order to fulfil our mission of “helping people advance knowledge to enrich lives”. We are working harder to meet these challenges.

We use the word ‘diversity’ in the context of the wide range of people working for the Library and also the many different communities within which we operate.

The basis of our strategy is the recognition that the diversity of our employees is fundamental to our success. Such differences, both visible and non-visible, help to nurture a culture of creativity, innovation and continuing improvement of real value to the organisation.

We also wish to attract and retain a rich mix of people working together in an environment that is inclusive and respects difference.

Taking forward the Diversity agenda

At the Library, we are making significant progress in embedding diversity across our business as detailed in our Northern Ireland Equality Commission annual reports. We have also published our Disability and Gender Equality Schemes setting out our commitment to disability and gender equality and our areas of action. We have established partnerships with a variety of organisations such as the RNIB and RNID and have set-up a variety of internal working parties to take forward the work of embedding diversity across the Library.

We know that diversity is not a single issue nor an issue that is unique to British Library and with this in mind have established networks with other diversity organisations such as the Employer’s Forum on Age and Disability to share best-practice. The Library strives on being an exemplary organisation on diversity and equality and the HR section was awarded by The Society of Personnel Officers (SOCPO) a Gold Award in 2005 for promoting diversity and disability equality in employment.

The Library took part in the Employer's Forum on Disability’s Disability Standard in 2007 which measures performance in disability and achieved the Gold Award Banding. The Library intends to use the results of the Disability Standard to further its work on disability equality.

The Library is proud to be a recipient of the Best Newcomer Award from the Employer’s Forum on Age in 2007. The Library was also awarded two Diamond Awards by the Employer’s Forum on Disability for its outstanding work in providing accessible information and for listening to disabled people.

The British Library Business & IP Centre Team along with the Business Marketing Team, whose joint events won the Corporate Category of the Black Women in Business Awards (BIBA's) in 2007 for their outstanding work in providing up-to-date business information and support to ethnic minority groups in the sphere of business. Additionally, the Centre has proactively launched a wide range of creative campaigns targeted to support black and other ethnic minority communities, as well as campaigns to specifically help women.

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