The ACRL board spend part of our meeting time discussing our Core Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in our plan for excellence and how to continue to move the dial forward in ACRL. We talked about the work that we are engaged in, where we can make a difference and ways to weave this thread into all aspects of our association work. Our President, Lauren Pressley will be sharing some of our actions in an ACRL Insider post in the near future. I want to bring your attention to ACRL President's EDI Discussion Series. There are some excellent authors that are posting information on issues of EDI. Titles include: From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces, The Role of Empathy in Improving Academic Library Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives and Incorporating Dialogue into the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Conversation.
Racism, Harassment & Discrimination in our Professional Association
The ACRL Board has issued a statement www.acrl.ala.org/acrlinsider/archives/17145 in response to the egregious incident experienced by one of our members at the ALA council forum and in response to other ALA mid-winter attendees' reporting experiencing violations of the conference Code of Conduct, including incidents of racism, harassment, and discrimination. We have work to do as an association to address the issues of racism, harassment, and discrimination. Your committee may want to examine your committee meeting practices and incorporate the ACRL core commitment to EDI in the ACRL Plan for Excellence into the outstanding work your committee does on behalf of our membership. www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/strategicplan/stratplan
Future of ALA Midwinter
The ALA Conference Committee presented a draft model of future ALA conferences that included drafts of a schedule, budget, and other information for context. (connect.ala.org/viewdocument/... ) They are proposing that this new event, not ALA midwinter, would begin in 2021.
"The proposed option recognizes and builds on the high visibility of the Youth Media Awards, the Carnegie Medal announcements, the RUSA Book and Media awards and related programming and exhibits at the current Midwinter Meeting. It also builds on and expands the current – successful – Symposium on the Future of Libraries, linking the development of strategic leadership skills (know how) to the futurist content developed by and for Center for the Future of Libraries (know what). These two broad content streams will utilize multiple formats: information sessions (speakers and panels), interactive workshops for collaborative and hands-on learning, and "campfire" discussions facilitated discussions designed to generate conversation among participants, across perspectives. Content is explicitly at the core of the envisioned event."
Our meeting times will be shrinking. My personal perspective, based on the forums that I attended is that this will happen and that we need to think about how we will continue the work of ACRL. Taking into consideration that the number of face-to-face meetings at midwinter has been shrinking and we need to consider how to engage virtually those groups. Additional support and training on online meetings is being considered.
Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness (SCOE) presented their process and some preliminary thought models. One thing that was made very clear was that these models were for the purposes for beginning discussions with the membership of ALA, not that these were the actual models that we were being asked to adopt. Lessa Pelayo-Lozada the committee chair said that she would be posting the update model information shortly after ALA. SCOE is planning additional virtual forums and townhalls to discuss the models and gather input to inform the Shared Governance of ALA. If you are able to attend any of these forums, please add your voice to the conversation both as a member and a committee member of ACRL.
The ACRL Board heard from IT consultants Tobin Conley and Jim Gibson that were hired to assess ALA IT. There are many issues that need to be resolved; including a lack of an inventory of ALA digital assets and legacy technology that does not integrate. Jim Gibson has been hired as an interim CIO for ALA and will be addressing some of the IT issues, as well as, working with ALA executive to hire a permanent CIO.
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