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ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff)'s picture

Moving the Diversity Discussion Forward: What's Next?

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Description: The recent ALA Diversity Counts report was both eye opening and sobering. The movements we are making toward creating a more representative and diverse workforce are incremental, at best. While relevant, this session is, and must be, more than a discussion on “workforce transformations.”  Current librarians, staff, and students who represent underrepresented groups, either by being a member of one or by working toward diversity initiatives, will find this session useful. In a facilitated discussion, we will attempt to tackle the question of “what’s next?” and hopefully develop connections, community, and change, which will continue outside of ALA.

Presenter: Jennifer Garrett

Format: Facilitated Discussion

Types of libraries:

  • All


  • Diversity
  • Transforming Libraries

Additional comments: As a recent MLIS graduate, participant in various ALA and ARL Diversity programs, and a member of the 5%, this topic is very personal and important to me. I understand that it would also be personal to the attendees and I will take special care to make sure the discussion is a positive one.

Shannon Simpson (non-member)'s picture

The Residency Interest Group is leading a very similarly based discussion at ACRL called, The Minority Report: An open discussion on the recent “Diversity Counts” study and how to foster momentum towards inclusion in our libraries. The roundtable will be held on Friday, April 12 from 1:30 - 2:30 for those interested.

Cynthia Parkhill's picture

I believe that what should be next in our discussion of workforce diversity is the recruitment and greater representation by people with disabilities -- the visually, physically, hearing and cognitively impaired -- among people in library service. Outreach and recruitment should begin with financial aid -- similar to efforts with the Spectrum Scholarship to address imbalances in race/ethnicity -- and should continue with hiring.