As part of NISO’s commitment to improving diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the information community, our strategic goals include increasing both international engagement with our organization and the worldwide impact of our work.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken a number of steps towards achieving this. For example, our annual NISO Plus is held fully online and across multiple time zones, in order to enable global attendance. We also provide a low-cost conference registration option of just $30 for attendees with limited budgets, including those from lower-income countries (outside of the top 30 International Monetary Fund GDP countries).
Our NISO Plus scholarship program has been another important element of our DEIA work. Since its launch in 2020, we’ve welcomed 40 information professionals and students from 16 countries onto the program, most of whom continue to engage with NISO (and with each other!). The scholarships are intended for anyone who feels that their voice and views are currently under-represented in libraries, service providers/vendors, publishers, or other parts of the information ecosystem. Successful applicants are eligible for:
- Free registration for NISO Plus (our annual conference, held fully online in February)
- Networking opportunities throughout the year with NISO Plus Board members, staff, and other past and present scholarship winners
- Free registration for all NISO educational webinars for three years
- Opportunities to volunteer for NISO committees and groups
- And more!
Applications for the 2023 NISO Plus scholarship program are open through December 9, 2022. If you’re interested in applying, or know someone who is, please use this form. We warmly invite applications from all parts of the information community and the world. They’ll be reviewed by a small committee comprising representatives from the NISO Board, DEIA Committee, NISO Plus 2023 Planning Committee, and past and present scholarship winners; the 2023 cohort will be announced in early 2023.
We’re also happy to announce that, from 2023, we’re adding a new opportunity for information organizations in lower-income countries to participate in NISO’s work. Next year will see the introduction of a new, low-cost LSA membership rate of $200 per year for libraries in countries defined by the World Bank as low-income (GNI per capita of $1,085 or less in 2021), lower middle-income (GNI of $1,086 - $4,255) or upper middle-income ($4,256 - $13,205). They will receive all the same benefits as regular LSA members — participation in multiple NISO working groups and committees, free attendance for all staff at our monthly webinars, and discounted registration for other events. This rate will be fixed for at least three years to allow a degree of stability, and we will be contacting existing members in these countries with more information about how they can continue with their membership at the reduced rate. If your library is interested in joining at this special rate, you can find more information and an application form on our Library Standards Alliance page — or contact us at email@example.com.
Last, but not least, in case you missed last month’s staff news, our former Office Manager, Kimberly Graham, has now moved into a new position as Education Program Manager and DEIA Advocate. In this role, she will continue to be staff contact point for NISO’s DEIA Committee, as well as ensuring that our educational events are designed with and for a diverse range of information community stakeholders.
In next month’s I/O we’ll be sharing a review of our DEIA Committee’s work since it launched in early 2021. In the meantime, you can take a sneak preview by checking out these summaries of last year’s webinars by Committee member and former Board member, Greg Grazevich.