On June 7th LSC Libraries hosted a virtual professional development session focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Over 60 library staff members attended. Guest speakers included Carlecia Wright, LSC Chief Diversity Officer, Essraa Nawar, Leatherby Libraries Diversity and Development Librarian at Chapman University; Orange, California, and Lynda Infante and Renee Kuhles, Librarians, Austin Community College; Austin, Texas.
The session kicked off with greetings from Carlecia Wright, the Chief Diversity Officer for the Lone Star College Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She was delighted by the session on DEI and spoke on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in academic libraries.
The next speaker, Essraa Nawar, from Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University, spoke about some of the programs and initiatives that they have undertaken at the campus to increase diversity. Some of the measures that they took included increasing the amount of OER (Open Access) resources available, diversifying the collections to better reflect the campus community, and increasing representation through the use of various displays throughout the year (Asian Pacific Islanders, BLM, etc).
The second speakers were Lynda Infante and Renee Kuhles from Austin Community College. They discussed their efforts at diversity through the use of Tags (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) on items in the collection. The tags helped to identify diverse items so that an inventory could be easily assessed. They also spoke of using LibGuides, and collaborating with outside groups on the campus, such as Student Life, to promote Diversity events and programs.
The presentations were followed by a group Q & A session, in which issues regarding gender identity, collection diversity, representation of staff, connecting with students through sharing of stories, and the challenges presented by bureaucracy and budget considerations were discussed. After the discussion the groups split up into breakout sessions to answer and discuss questions about aspects of diversity in the library. There were 6 breakout groups (Collection Development, Instruction, Circulation, Reference, Programming, & Marketing), each group were asked 3 questions regarding strategies/approaches in assessing DEI, plus 3-5 next steps. Following that we all got back together to share what we had learned and discuss our impressions.
This was a very productive, useful and interesting workshop. I think that we all benefited from it!
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