There are three crucial elements for effective knowledge management within an organization: People, Process, and Technology. When examining the composition of staff in many enterprises, it is often observed to be homogenous. This is not uncommon, as we tend to gravitate toward individuals similar to ourselves, relying on familiarity and trust in what we already know. However, to extend our reach to the market, clients and desired results, we must consider diversity and equal rights. A homogenous organization may struggle to comprehend the complexities of the external world and connect effectively with its users. 

In the globalized landscape, libraries are universally recognized as spaces for everyone. The Erasmus University library, hosting students from around the world, acknowledges the increasing diversity in demographics. Recognizing the need to better understand its diverse user base, the University Library (UL) of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) has committed to fostering diversity within the organization. 

Several years ago, we implemented an anonymous recruitment process and actively hired individuals with disabilities to promote inclusivity in the job market. Cultivating a culture of tolerance and acceptance within the organization enables individuals to express themselves more effectively and positively. Greater confidence in leadership in conjunction with self-confidence translates to increased confidence in the workplace. 

On our staff we have colleagues diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The initial period was challenging both for them and for me as a team leader. Upon joining the staff, they initially felt apprehensive and remained silent.  In coming to understand their needs, we worked to build trust through providing a safe and structured workplace with a consistent rhythm, good workflows and time parameters. I discovered that our new colleagues had a clear perspective, contributing significantly to problem-solving and effective workflow setup. Although integration took time, the positive outcomes are evident — we can quickly access internal knowledge and respond promptly to the requirements of our clients. 

Elsa de Almeida Valente, Secretary IFLA Knowledge Management Section