About This Quilt Piece

When I first thought about how to compose a quilt square about diversity as part of the library’s diversity plan, the words “Strength through diversity” sprang to mind.

I thought about how libraries promote diversity by collecting materials that represent many different ideas and viewpoints. Especially in the an academic library, materials are acquired because they represent varied disciplines from their theoretical underpinnings to cutting edge new research. They also represent opposing and conflicting ideas and the historical evolution of knowledge. And, although libraries have sometimes struggled to acquire minority or underrepresented ideas, the library bill of rights affirms “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues” to all people.

Librarians and libraries always strive to meet this goal. But I needed a way to visually convey strength through diversity. My first thought was to try to visually use the words themselves as the image. I was trying to steer away from the image of books, because so much of the information we provide today is digital. But I had trouble trying to find a way to portray that with just the words. So I came back to the image of the traditional library building as a way to convey strength. The different colors and sizes of the books represent the diversity of thought in the books. But, to me, it is the ideas they represent that are holding the library in its position of strength.

Jean Beccone, Librarian, Public Services Reference, Instruction, Outreach
February, 2011