Diversity Member Initiative Group

What do you want from this space?

  • 1.  What do you want from this space?

    Posted Aug 13, 2018 09:22 AM
    Good morning everyone!

    It's been quiet around the MIG and I just wanted to see how you all would like to use this space. Originally, it was intended for the below:

    This member interest group provides an organizational home for members dedicated to fostering an improved climate for diversity within their institutions and professional organizations. The mission of the Diversity Membership Initiative Group is:


        • To provide a space for success stories and best practices and broadly highlight examples of activities that have improved services and fostered organizational change. 
        • To provide a community of practice for members to discuss ideas, concepts, and methods to positively impact library services to increasingly diverse populations.
        • To provide a base for deepening our discussion and collective understanding of diversity and inclusion issues across our professional organizations.

      Going forward, we would still like this to be a community where members, students, and staff can share resources and provide support. How we accomplish that is really up to us, so let's use this time to reevaluate what content we'd like to see in this space and how it can be beneficial for everyone.

      I look forward to hearing your ideas!

      Amber

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      Amber Hayes
      Outreach & Communications Program Officer
      American Library Association
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    • 2.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Aug 20, 2018 06:01 PM
      I suggest having a monthly discussion on any diversity topics would be excellent, but also including sharing what we are doing in our libraries to create a diverse and welcoming culture. For example, Martin Garnar, our Library Dean, created a "Just Talk" series in the library and now taking place in many other venues in the university.  Everyone, university and non-university communities, is invited to discuss diverse topics in a safe space. The topics include race, identity, religion, and many more.  These series have received excellent reviews and have also contributed to making our library a safe space for everyone.

      I think sharing what we do can help others to find a solution for situations that we may think will never change.

      Just an idea :)

      Respectfully,

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      Federico Martinez-Garcia
      Director of Access Services
      University of Colorado Colorado Springs
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    • 3.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Aug 24, 2018 03:22 PM
      I don't know what counts as diversity, but I owuld love to see disability included, and not just physical disability. For example, I know that some people on the autism spectrum are sensitive to fluorescent lights and often use sunglasses in buildings that use fluorescent lights. One thing I would love to see happen is for libraries to provide a collection of sunglasses that people can use inside the library if they forget their own and the lights are bothering them.

      I also don't want to feel that unemployed librarians are not welcome in the discussions. I am unemployed myself, and many times I have felt like I could not reply to a post on a forum or an email in a listserv because they ask people to share what is going on at their library and I don't belong to any library. I have volunteered for years, however, and I participated in a practicum while getting my MLS, so I believe I have experiences that could be relevant and useful, and I want to feel like I can share them.

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      Rachel Morton
      None
      Unemployed
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    • 4.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Aug 27, 2018 09:50 AM
      This is the first time I posted here, so I hope I'm doing it correctly.

      I think the person above has a good point that including librarians who are unemployed in discussions is good.

      Also, encouraging people who may not be members of ALA to join discussions can increase the perspectives in discussions I think.  I appreciate contributions from several people who aren't librarians in the Universal Accessibility Interest Group listserv discussions.  I don't know if they are members of ALA, but I guess it's not unlikely some non-librarian participants wouldn't pay dues.  I think the accessibility barriers to becoming a librarian (such as inaccessible library catalogs and back ends of many of the interfaces we use as librarians) quite strongly discourages diversity in our profession so this is one little way to try to counteract a tiny bit of that.  I try to point out on promotional materials that one doesn't have to be a member to join the listserv.  (And another UAIG Convener came up with what I thought was good wording to encourage people to join if they can without being pushy about it.  I don't mean to discourage support of ALA.)

      On another topic, I recently found out about a Facebook group called Autistics and Libraries and their Allies that people might be interested in.  I just searched for it on Facebook.  You have to request to join, but they accepted my request quickly.

      I'm glad this group is encouraging this discussion!

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      Adina Mulliken
      Social Work Subject Specialist & Assistant Professor
      Hunter College- CUNY
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    • 5.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Aug 31, 2018 04:19 PM
      Adina brings up an interesting (art least to me) point. Before I got my Master's I got a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science and I learned just how inaccessible technology can be. I also learned about something called User Interface Design, which is supposed to help create programs that are easier for people who aren't techy savvy to use, and therefore should be more accessable. While pursuing my Master's I learned about Linked Data and Bibframe and what I learned made me worry about how usable it would be, but now I'm starting to wonder about the software that's already available. What about having patrons and librarians test out the software that is available and give recommendations so the programmers can incorporate those ideas to make the software more usable? If the programmers aren't interested in usability, at least the testing would help libraries choose the software that is most usable for their patrons and staff.

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      Rachel Morton
      None
      Unemployed
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    • 6.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Sep 01, 2018 03:13 PM
      Rachel and Adina, your comments make me remember that in past jobs, we had assigned some library staff/faculty and student workers to test some products' usability. After a couple of software was selected, the library asked some users to test them as well.  It requires some work but in the end, you are able to make a better decision.

      By the way, I replied to your earlier messages but I may have done it incorrectly. My apologies,

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      Federico Martinez-Garcia
      Director of Access Services
      University of Colorado Colorado Springs
      Committee on Diversity - Intern 2018-2019
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    • 7.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Sep 11, 2018 02:10 PM
      Hi Rachel,

      I just now managed to see your post.  I'm glad to hear you learned about accessibility in your computer science degree!  And that you're interested in this topic- there's a lot of need for people with web development knowledge to work on these issues.  I'm guessing with your background you might have learned at least some web development, or have aptitude for it:)  And there's need for people who just want to learn about making PDFs or other content accessible too.  I have a bibliography online that I updated not too long ago with articles about accessibility of library tools (and related info) here https://connect.ala.org/communities/community-home/librarydocuments/viewdocument?DocumentKey=49C5FC44-E12B-45FD-8B1C-60235254E0F4  .  The first link on there is a really exciting project that the Big 10 universities are doing with hiring web accessibility professionals to do evaluations of a few mainstream library vendors' products.  It is really great they posted these online because we can all ask the vendors if they've made progress when we renew licenses.  The reviews are written for people who understand technical guidelines for accessibility, but there are a few points at the beginning of the reviews that are more understandable to everyone.  There is also a section on the site that gives recommended licensing language about accessibility to ask vendors to sign, so we don't all need to become web accessibility professionals, just ask vendors to sign the standard agreement or give us a timeline for when they would comply with standards described in the licensing language.

      Adina





    • 8.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Sep 02, 2018 10:14 AM
      Sorry to be late to the discussion! During a webinar late last year for the ARL spec kit in diversity and inclusion, attendees asked about creating a diversity and inclusion community of practice. While the spec kit focused on academic libraries I could see that being a need for all libraries and this group could be a really great forum to host.

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      Toni Anaya
      Multicultural Studies Librarian, Instruction Coordinator
      University of Nebraska-Lincoln N220 Love Library
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    • 9.  RE: What do you want from this space?

      Posted Sep 02, 2018 10:17 AM
      Posted too soon....

      since that is one of the goals of this group, I think encouraging members to share articles with discussions to follow, d&i issues and concerns as well as plans from their libraries could help build content. There is an article I have buried on my desk that discusses components of a successful community of practice- I'll find it and review. It may have some good ideas on how to move this group forward.

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      Toni Anaya
      Multicultural Studies Librarian, Instruction Coordinator
      University of Nebraska-Lincoln N220 Love Library
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