Skip to main content
Steely Library aims to be a campus leader in inclusive excellence. The library provides a welcoming and supportive environment for all NKU students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the broader community. We aim to serve our community in the same fashion that we, as individuals, would like to be served. In doing so, we support NKU’s mission and the library profession’s longstanding commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and equal access. And so, all identities and expressions are valued and respected with the goal of supporting your research, education, personal, and professional goals. 

ACRL Diversity Alliance Logo

ACRL Diversity Alliance

In 2022, Steely Library took a step forward in showing our commitment to diversity in the library profession by joining the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance. Membership gives Steely the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded academic and research libraries to help diversify and enrich the library profession by “increasing the hiring pipeline of qualified and talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups” (ACRL Diversity Alliance)

As a member of the Diversity Alliance, Steely Library is committed to establishing a paid two-to-three-year residency program for an early-career librarian from a historically underrepresented group. The design of the residency program aims to prepare residents for success in academic librarianship through mentorship, networking, and hands-on library experience.   

View the open Digital Humanities Resident Librarian job listing to learn more.   

Scenic view of NKU's Steely Library building showing the NKU logo on the building side.

Inclusive Teaching

Steely Library’s instruction program develops and enhances the information behaviors and dispositions of all students by strategically integrating information literacy across the curriculum at NKU.  Our program, based upon the Association of College & Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, examines the inherent privilege of information, and the impact of bias in the consumption and production of information. Students will consider:

  • Who has access to information, who doesn’t, how information has value, how the absence of access is often detrimental to the individual, and society, and why?
  • How is authority constructed, what voices are silenced, and why?
  • How does lived experiences impact one’s interpretation of information, and how does the author’s perspective shape the information they create?


Diverse Scholarly Collections 

Collection Development 

Collection Development is the process of selecting the resources needed to support the university’s curriculum, and research interests. While we cannot collect everything published, we build our collection with inclusivity and diversity in mind. As an example, the library acquires all available Coretta Scott King Book Awards winners for the Teacher Resource Collection to better represent the students our preservice Education majors teach within their practicums. Faculty can also help diversify our collection by recommending titles for purchase

Open Education Resources (OER’s)

We support implementation of resources that prioritize student affordability through identification of no cost open education resources (OER) that are licensed to share and facilitate teaching, learning and research. We support creation of open education content on campus and advocate the value of open research and education through copyright and licensing.

Course Reserves

Faculty can place course materials on reserve for students to access in a copyright compliant manner.  Reserves can be physical items such as print textbooks, a library title, DVD’s, or even mineral samples, all available in the library for checkout. Reserves can also be materials in electronic formats, embedded within your courses in Canvas. To place your course materials on reserve, please use our online Course Reserve Form

Open Access

Open Access is a publishing model that removes barriers, including cost, from accessing scholarly work.  We are committed to promoting the open movement through our work in our Digital Scholarship and Communications Department and by hosting open content in our NKU Digital Repository, where student, faculty and staff scholarship is collected and displayed.

Special Collections & University Archives

We are home to a number of unique collections of regional African American and Appalachian history, and culture. A sampling of those collections include:

African American Collections

Appalachian Collections


Accessible Technologies and Spaces 

All library computers have Kurzweil 3000 Text-to-Speech and the Windows screen magnifier software.  Our assistive technology area on the 4th floor has computers with the JAWS screen reader, large-print keyboards, and CCTV video magnifiers.