Awards and Honors, Institutional News

Crossett Library Receives Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award

This award offers national recognition of academic libraries that are making a difference for all underrepresented groups.

 Bennington College’s Crossett Library received the 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine. The LEAD Award honors academic libraries’ programs and initiatives that support diversity, equity, and inclusion across their campus. These include, but are not limited to research, technology, accessibility, exhibitions, and community outreach. Bennington College is featured, along with 55 other recipients, in the March 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

“Access and diversity are paramount in fostering a vibrant and equitable academic library,” said Oceana Wilson, dean of the library. “This recognition is a testament to the commitment of the Crossett Library staff and many years of dedicated and intentional work. We are grateful to the entire Bennington College community for the support and collaborations that make our work possible.”

“The LEAD recognition affirms our commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Alfredo Medina, Jr., Ph.D., Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Bennington College. “More importantly, this award demonstrates Bennington’s unwavering commitment to antiracism, especially at a time when books are banned and anti-DEI legislation is introduced to prohibit learning about the history and lived experiences of minoritized people. I am grateful to Oceana and the Crossett Library staff for making DEI and antiracism a core priority.”

Insight Into Diversity magazine selected Bennington College’s Crossett Library because of the library’s commitment to expanding diversity and representation in print and electronic collections, to ensure the library is an inclusive space through intentional design and conversation, to implementing equitable services and policies, and to working in close collaboration with the campus community to augment and amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives across the College. 

“We know that academic libraries are not always recognized for their dedication to diversity, inclusion, and access,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine. “We are proud to honor these college and university libraries as role models for other institutions of higher education.”

For more information about the 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award, visit

About Insight Into Diversity  

Insight Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today. Insight is the leader in recognizing inclusive excellence in higher education through its many prestigious awards. They are also known for being the leader in advancing best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion through their website and print magazine.

On Insight’s online Career Center readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of Insight Into Diversity magazine are available online at