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Starr La Tronica's picture

Online Board Meeting--paper on the importance of diversity

We have received a Board Action Form requesting that the Board adopt a white paper which discusses the importance of diversity in library programming and material collections for children, authored by our esteemed colleague Jamie Naidoo.  Both documents are attached.

Please read both documents and submit comments for discussion by COB Thursday.  I will call for a motion Thursday evening and if there is no further discussion I will open the vote on Friday.

Please submit a brief comment ASAP to indicate that you are "in attendance" so that we may establish a quorum.

Andrew Medlar's picture

Looking forward to reviewing and discussing!

Andrew

 

 
Diane Foote's picture

I moved, when we're just supposed to be discussing. Well, I think it's terrific. Save the motion for later.

Diane Foote
Assistant Dean & Curator, Butler Children's Literature Center
Dominican University GSLIS
dfoote@dom.edu, 708-524-6054
http://www.dom.edu/gslis

Diane Foote's picture

I move that the ALSC Board vote to adopt the whitepaper authored by Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo "The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children."

Kudos to ALSC for keeping initiatives focused on diversity at the forefront and going above and beyond to bring them to an ever-wider audience. Kudos to Jamie for articulating so well why this is important.

 

 

 

Diane Foote
Assistant Dean & Curator, Butler Children's Literature Center
Dominican University GSLIS
dfoote@dom.edu, 708-524-6054
http://www.dom.edu/gslis

Megan Schliesman's picture

Looking forward to reading this today 

Ernie Cox's picture

Thank you to Jamie for authoring this white paper. I look forward to our discussion after everyone has had an opportunity to read it.

Carolyn Brodie's picture

Here!  Thanks Jamie!

 

 

Megan Schliesman's picture

I see this is a fundamental, foundational dimension of library service, the assumption that libraries  provide materials that reflect children's lives AND the world in which they live. (Mirrors and windows, yes, but also, thinking about the recent Christopher Myers piece in the NYTimes, "maps": http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/the-apartheid-of-childr...)

I'm also aware of the tension, especially in communities where diversity is not apparent (thinking some places in northern WI as an example), where I sometimes hear librarians saying, "I buy something [multicultural], but it doesn't circulate."  I encourage them to treat these books like every other--are they incorporating them into thematic displays on a wide range of topics? Including them into storytimes?  I point out the power they have to model an approach to diversity that, for lack of a better word, "normalizes" it.

I know none of this is new to any of you. I'm pointing this out simply to say that this is an obvious yes to me, but also that it's something that isn't obvious to everone, which is all the more reason for adopting it as far as I'm concerned. But we have to back that up with support and modeling, with Dia being an outstanding example of that, and to acknowledge, if only among ourselves, that is IS sometimes a struggle for people , especially when a small library in a (seemingly) homogenous community (big myth) has a small budget.  But this is an ideal that I think needs and deserves expression and support from our organization in this way.

Thank you, Jamie!

Megan

Michael Santangelo's picture

This is a thoughtful paper and beautifully presents the ethical and intellectual argument on the necessity for greater efforts to increase diversity in our library settings and work.  Thank you so much Jamie.

Ellen Riordan's picture

Looking forward to discussions.

Gretchen Caserotti's picture

Present and happy to discuss supporting. Well done Jamie!

Rita Auerbach's picture

Glad to be part of this discussion.

Lisa Von Drasek's picture

Thank you for providing this springboard for discussion. I am grateful to be part of it. Lisa

Lisa Von Drasek, University of Minnesota Libraries

Starr La Tronica's picture

Has everyone had the opportunity to read the paper and are would anyone like to make a motion for Board adoption?

 

Starr

Megan Schliesman's picture

I move that the ALSC Board adopt the whitepaper "The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children" by Dr. Jamie Naidoo Campbell.

Lisa Von Drasek's picture

This paper is thoughtful, clear and readable. It will be of service to membership.  I have a tiny concern defining "diversity" as cultural diversity. This leaves out protected classes like people with disabilities. I know that this paper focuses on cultural diversity- would it be possible to add that modifier to the title?

My only concern Lisa

 

PS for some reason I am finding it impossible to modify my signature- reaching out for help.

Lisa Von Drasek, University of Minnesota Libraries

Ellen Riordan's picture

I second Megan's motion to adopt the whitepaper "The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children."

Starr La Tronica's picture

Greetings everyone!  Sorry for the time lag in these proceedings.  I have been away.

We have a motion and second, and there has been a discussion point raised. 

Are there more comments?  What is the group sense on Lisa's concern?  I have reread the paper and see that "ability" was included within lists of diverse clientele, and that the Schneider Family Award was cited within the resources.  Is this sufficient?  What is the group sense of asking the author to add the modifier "cultural" to the title?

I would like to move forward on adopting this timely resource for the ALSC membership.

Thanks,

Starr

Diane Foote's picture

Hey Starr! Thanks for reminding us this discussion is still open! It seems to me we do need a little clarification here; I too re-read the document after seeing your comment above, much more carefully than I did the first time. The first sentence under "Background" states "Diversity in library collections and programs refers to cultural diversity." Is this inconsistent with the two instances you mention, including the sentence in the conclusion that lists many different types of diversity and the inclusion of the Schneider Award in the list of resources?

I don't want to wordsmith but since the concern was raised, may I suggest adding the word "often" to the sentence "Diversity in library collections and programs often refers to cultural diversity."? I do NOT want to second-guess Jamie, though, so Jamie, please chime in if this suggestion distorts your intention at all.

Diane Foote
Assistant Dean & Curator, Butler Children's Literature Center
Dominican University GSLIS
dfoote@dom.edu, 708-524-6054
http://www.dom.edu/gslis

Diane Foote's picture

Okay, looks like three times is the charm (at least for me). Upon a third, even closer reading, it's clear in the background section that ability, etc. and all kinds of diversity "...are all aspects of a person's culture."

I'm okay with the paper as written, and as titled.

If it's appropriate that we continue to vote even while we discuss, please count this as my vote to adopt the paper. Thanks!

Diane Foote
Assistant Dean & Curator, Butler Children's Literature Center
Dominican University GSLIS
dfoote@dom.edu, 708-524-6054
http://www.dom.edu/gslis

Starr La Tronica's picture

Hello again fellow Board members.  Thank you all for your attention to this matter.  Seeing no other discussion I would ask that we move forward toward consensus. We have a couple of courses of action:

1) To move forward and adopt the paper as is re: the original motion and subsequent comment by Diane.

2) To amend the motion to reflect Lisa's comment.

3) Other?  We are always open to alternatives.

In any case, I would really appreciate a resolution so that I may bring the next item to the Board, (there is always something up my sleeve.)

Thanks,

Starr

 

Lisa Von Drasek's picture

I would be the last person to wordsmith.  I have been thinking about disability and with the exception of deaf/ hearing impaired culture not what I think Jaime is saying.  Jamie? thoughts.  I wouldn't hold up adopting the paper for these concerns.

Lisa Von Drasek, University of Minnesota Libraries

Jamie Naidoo's picture

Hello Everyone,

I have been quietly watching from the sidelines. I know that I'm not supposed to participate in the vote (i.e. conflict of interest) but I wasn't sure if I was to jump in with comments.

Culture includes everything about a person. The term cultural diversity is meant to go beyond race and ethnicity to include ability, sexual orientation, religious preference, immigration status, domicile, etc. It is my intention to be as inclusive with the term as possible. Differently able populations are included under cultural diversity, hence the use of the word "ability." If this is not clear in the paper, then I'm happy to tweak as necessary. You will notice that I highlight resources for awards that embody all types of cultural diversity. I know that Joanna wanted to pass this paper and get it published before Dia, as a way to promote the celebration and emphasize the use of Dia to promote diversity. I'll do whatever is necessary to accomplish this (except vote). :)

Best,

Jamie

Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Ph.D.
Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor
Univ of AL - SLIS
513 Gorgas Library – Box 870252
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0252
jcnaidoo@slis.ua.edu

Lisa Von Drasek's picture

I accept the white paper as written with no changes or edits.

 

Lisa

Lisa Von Drasek, University of Minnesota Libraries

Ernie Cox's picture

Let's vote and then see what other goodies Starr has in store.

On Apr 2, 2014 9:10 PM, "ALA Connect" connect@ala.org> wrote:

Starr La Tronica's picture

Thank you all!!  I am so lucky to work with such conscientious and committed colleagues!

The poll is now open for voting at http://connect.ala.org/node/220741

Starr

 

Andrew Medlar's picture

Thank you, Jamie, for this brilliant and important contribution!

Andrew