Belonging and Uniqueness as Essential Elements for Inclusive Workplaces

A Literature Review


  • Allison Stewart



DEI, EDI, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Uniqueness, ODT, Organizational Management, Optimal Distinctiveness Theory, Literature Review, Library workplaces


Despite efforts spanning two decades, the LIS field struggles to diversify its workforce. This literature review examines research focussed on the ways belonging and uniqueness work together to create genuinely inclusive workplaces. The review attempts to answer the question, “From the perspective of people working in libraries in Canada, how have efforts to create diverse and inclusive library workplaces affected their sense of belonging and uniqueness?”. The question is one way to translate the lived experience of people working in Canadian libraries into an evaluative measure of organizational diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work, provided it is positioned within a foundational understanding of the relationship between DEI, belonging and uniqueness. Optimal Distinctiveness Theory (ODT) forms the foundation for much of the research and is identified as a key element of inclusivity. Models of belonging and uniqueness research are included as well as a discussion of the gaps in and future directions for research in the LIS field.




How to Cite

Stewart, A. (2023). Belonging and Uniqueness as Essential Elements for Inclusive Workplaces: A Literature Review. Pathfinder: A Canadian Journal for Information Science Students and Early Career Professionals, 4(1), 106–117.



Literature Reviews