During FY20, Becker Library formalized its efforts in supporting DEI by updating its mission and establishing a DEI liaison to ensure the library’s DEI efforts grow and strengthen. The political divisiveness, racial tensions and hostility, and social injustices and inequities of the past year have only strengthened Becker Library’s resolve to be an agent of positive change.
In partnership with the Office of Medical Student Education, Becker Library acquired a new online program for diagnosing skin manifestations of disease, VisualDx. It is the most comprehensive tool for providing illustrations for skin of color. This online resource will be utilized by students, residents and fellows.
Becker Library produced and published an online Guide to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources that allows users to browse Becker Library’s growing collection of DEI-related books, many curated through the Feuerstein Health and Wellness Information Center, as well as links to organizations, articles and videos grouped under headings like “Anti-Racism,” “LGBTQIA+,” “People with Disabilities,” and “Latinx Community.”
Becker Library, and especially its technology services staff, worked with WashU IT and advocated for speedy implementation of closed caption technology for the medical school’s HIPAA-compliant version of Zoom (a standard feature for most Zoom users, and a necessary point of access for deaf people or people with hearing loss).
Many of the members of the Washington University School of Medicine community come from East Asia, and they often wish to know if the medical library’s special collections hold any materials that illustrate the medical traditions of their countries. In order to make our collections more inclusive, the rare books division has begun to strategically collect works published in East Asia that relate to our existing collection strengths.