Library Conference “DEI in Academic Libraries”

Friday, April 22

Download the 2022 Library Conference Schedule

8:45 AMMeeting link opens
9:00 AMOpening and Welcome
o   Alyssa Darden-Muñoz, Director: Learning and Library Resources, Franklin University
9:05 AMBanning Critical Race Theory: Much Ado About Nothing (Michael Carter, Chief Diversity Officer, Sinclair Community College)
o  Let’s talk about the real fear of Critical Race Theory, or “divisive concepts” being taught in classrooms across the country, and it has nothing to do with white children feeling ashamed or guilty…
9:45 AMBreak
10:00 AMCONCURRENT SESSIONS (Participants will choose one at registration.)
The Prep Talk: The Discussion ABOUT Having the Difficult Discussion
o   Moderator: Alyssa Darden-Muñoz, Franklin University
o   Presenters: Tiffany Grant, Michelle McKinney, & Margaux Patel from University of Cincinnati
o   Description: Library staffers from multiple libraries formed the Equity and Inclusion Community of Practice to collaborate on new initiatives and streamline existing overlapping activities. Early in the process, they examined the Statement Against White Appropriation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Labor and grappled with exploring these important issues with the larger library organization. This led to discussions about how to facilitate conversations that allow all perspectives; do not create emotional labor for BIPOC colleagues; and consider their lack of professional expertise in this area. The presenters will share their intentional efforts to prepare for difficult but meaningful discussions.

Enabling DEI and Diverse Voices Through Library Collections
o   Moderator: Debra Oswald, Sinclair Community College
o   Presenters: Ted Baldwin and Christian Boyles from University of Cincinnati
o   Description: A moderated discussion to share how all are enabling DEI and the inclusion of diverse voices through library collections. Through guided questions, attendees will learn about how various library settings are developing projects, policies, and other initiatives that enable DEI and representation in collections. Specific strategies may include: updating collections policies, actively seeking resources from BIPOC authors, editors and publishers, decolonizing current library holdings, and engaging with stakeholders on collection strategies.  The co-moderators are from University of Cincinnati Libraries and represent both main campus and a regional college.

Creating Inclusive and Unbiased Spaces
o   Moderator: Karen Wilhoit, Wright State University
o   Presenter: Sarah Miller from University of Dayton
o   Description: Physical space plays an important role in creating inclusive and unbiased environments. The 2019 University of Dayton Library renovation included a new space: the Scholars’ Commons. Faculty and doctoral students can use this card-accessible space for collegial interaction, independent learning, collaboration, professional development, and private reading and writing. In September 2021, the presenter attended the UD Inclusive Excellence Academy that explored the ideas behind brick-and-mortar inclusive spaces and ways to work toward an atmosphere that enables belonging, sharing and creativity for working and/or teaching. The presenter will share how she collaborated with library faculty and staff to create messaging to direct the intended use of the space, and initiated active and passive programming. 

Assessing Library Services for DEI Support
o   Moderator: Myra Justus, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
o   Presenters: Dr. Rita Kumar, Dr. Brenda Refaei, & June Taylor-Slaugh­­­­­­ter from University of Cincinnati
o   Audiences: Public Services, Technical Services, Information Literacy, General
Description: Libraries as the heart of higher education institutions are models of equity in addressing institutional diversity to promote an inclusive community. DEI efforts in any context start with mindfulness and intentionality to develop an equity-minded perspective.  Many libraries are engaged in providing services and activities to develop this perspective. An important component for the success of DEI activities is to evaluate how well they are meeting their goals and to respond to feedback. In this presentation, the presenters will review strategies for assessing DEI efforts and provide opportunities for participants to apply the assessment strategies.
10:45 AMBreak
11:00 AMKEYNOTE – Let’s Talk About DEI: From Words to Action (Nancy Kirkpatrick, CEO, OhioNet)
We are engaging with the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion in ways that we likely never imagined just a few years ago. While universities and libraries hire Chief Diversity Officers and Directors of Culture, we must ask if those hiring practices alone are resulting in significant improvements to our work culture. Organizations are talking about all the right things, but are we also putting those words into action in meaningful ways? Join us as we explore current trends and practices in DEI, identify some of the challenges in our organizations, and discover ways we might move forward, starting now.
11:45 AMClosing comments

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