Library seeks focus group participants
Heights Libraries Anti-Racism Task Force has engaged Compass Consulting Services, LLC, to conduct confidential, virtual focus groups as part of a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) audit. Due to Covid-19, the focus groups will be held via Zoom, not in person as had originally been planned.
The library’s goal is to gather information from current library customers, as well as those who don’t use the library.
“If we really want to ensure we are serving our community fairly and equitably, we first need to understand what people’s experience with us has been like,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “We want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Each group is limited in size. Participants are asked to register by using one of the links listed below that pertains to the one group they would like to participate in. Representatives from Compass Consulting will then contact participants with further information and instructions.
Specific Populations (www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHUHSpecPop)
- Disabled: Aug, 11, 4–5:30 p.m.
- Refugee Service Community: Aug. 18, 2–3:30 p.m.
- Orthodox Citizens and Community Leaders: Aug. 18, 6:30–8 p.m.
- Homeless: Aug. 19, 2–3:30 p.m.
- LGBTQ+: Aug. 19, 6:30–8 p.m.
- Hearing Impaired: Aug. 21, 1–2:30 p.m.
Retired Senior Citizens/Customers - choose the branch you use the most (www.surveymonkey.com/r/SeniorsRetired)
- Aug. 24, 2–3:30 p.m. – Coventry Village
- Aug. 25, 2–3:30 p.m. - Lee Road
- Aug. 26, 2–3:30 p.m. – Noble Neighborhood
- Aug. 27, 2–3:30 p.m. - University Heights
General Seniors, Not Retired - choose the branch you use the most (www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHUHSeniors)
- Aug. 10, 6:30–8 p.m. – Coventry Village
- Aug. 11, 6:30–8 p.m. - Lee Road
- Aug. 12, 6:30–8 p.m. – Noble Neighborhood
- Aug. 13, 6:30–8 p.m. - University Heights
Youth Customers - choose the branch you use the most (www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHUHYouth1117)
- Aug. 10, 2–3:30 p.m. – Coventry Village
- Aug. 11, 2–3:30 p.m. - Lee Road
- Aug. 12, 2–3:30 p.m. – Noble Neighborhood
- Aug. 13, 2–3:30 p.m. - University Heights
General Adult Customers - choose the branch you use the most (www.surveymonkey.com/r/CHUHGeneralAdult)
- Aug. 24, 6:30–8 p.m. – Coventry Village
- Aug. 25, 6:30–8 p.m. - Lee Road
- Aug. 26, 6:30–8 p.m. – Noble Neighborhood
- Aug. 27, 6:30–8 p.m. - University Heights
The focus groups are the latest steps Heights Libraries is taking to ensure that its practices, policies, and culture are inclusive of all of its stakeholders—both staff and customers.
Heights Libraries formed its Anti-Racism Taskforce in fall 2018 in response to concerns about equity and inclusion. One of its first actions was to engage all staff members in meaningful, comprehensive DEI training. Non-management participated in a three-hour training by the national Racial Equity Institute, and managers attended an intensive two-day training retreat by the same organization.
After the trainings, management decided to conduct internal and external DEI audits, and hired Compass Consulting Services, LLC to conduct them. Both the trainings and the work with Compass Consulting took place in 2019 and early 2020, before the Covid-19 outbreak and the library’s subsequent budget cuts.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.