On Friday April 8, the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries initiative offered the panel discussion Beyond Words: Initiating, Implementing, and Sustaining Change. The panel centered four librarians who had been featured in ACRL VAL’s spotlight series focused on practices of equity and social justice. Their spotlights can be read at the links below:
Dr. Salinas works at a community college as the dean of library and learning resources, but all four discussed issues relevant to all libraries.
Topics touched on during the panel included:
Balancing sharing your voice with taking on additional labor. Panelists agreed on the importance of finding areas where they could be passionate and impactful, while being willing to say no.
Actionable items for co-conspirators. (Tips: do work on yourselves before bringing in people meant to ‘fix’ everything, leverage your sphere of influence, and act as an amplifier ready to pass the mic to marginalized colleagues.)
Programs worth imitating, which received the response, “Don’t replicate, originate.” Institutions were encouraged to consider their unique needs when planning programs and aspire to be their best selves rather than someone else.
Admittedly, I wanted to write about something else, but it was a mere distraction from what was and is weighing like a ten ton brick on my heart. As such, I felt pulled as if magnetically, towards writing about libraries and the increasingly important role they have, particularly in terms of having unbiased, open-arms for all the diverse individuals and populations they serve. We are the one place that our users and patrons know they are accepted and safe, and can use our openly available resources without judgment, bias, and censorship. Furthermore, through our libraries and library work, we can continue to fight the good, strong fight against hatred and oppression that exist in our society and work towards greater acceptance, equality, and growth (including healing) for all people not just the group(s) we connect to in our own lives. I wish us all the strength, courage, and willingness to continue to serve in our important roles and hold a places for our patrons, customers and users, especially in the aftermath of the election results.
I was incredibly fortuitous last week because without any consideration to Election Day, I scheduled a day of seated chair massages along with coloring activities and a therapy dog visit the Thursday following it. The only thing that could have improved the experience would have been if everything had been scheduled for last Wednesday instead. Ah well, hindsight is perfect, isn’t it? These events shifted the energy in the library and provided support and healing for many during such a challenging time. It was also a great opportunity for students, staff and faculty to connect and share positive stories and just be there for one another energetically. Sometimes it just takes someone holding our space to get us through the moment(s).
Many of us are grieving, hurting, and angry or experiencing a myriad of other emotions, and it is important that we take care of ourselves during these times. A loss has occurred for a large group of us. After we have dealt with our own, very personal self-care, it is imperative that we keep moving forward and participate in progressive action to support those we serve while continuing to effectuate change. What are some ways that you or your library are working towards regrouping, empowering and bringing your community together? Please share here.
What is your community college or community college library doing to highlight materials from other parts of the world? Do you have a collection of translated works from your international students’ home countries? Do you have a book club focusing on books from around the globe? How do you learn about books from other countries?
…for adults and children at the local, national and international levels. We intend to do so by facilitating close and direct collaboration between translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, because we believe that these groups in collaboration are uniquely positioned to help libraries provide support and events to engage readers of all ages in a library framework that explores and celebrates literature from around the world.
We want to increase the visibility of international works in English translation so that more readers can enjoy the amazing diversity in these books and the perspectives they present. And we would like to do this by increasing cooperation between literary translators, international literature advocates, and librarians, who are already experts at guiding readers to new titles. Whether you are a children’s librarian or a YA blogger, a rural library director or a teacher at a large urban school with a diverse student population, we would welcome your insights as we explore collaborative opportunities to encourage readers to explore beyond the boundaries of their own culture and language.
Goals & Projects:
Book lists and guides tied to major translation awards and library themes
Programming ideas for various library user groups: children, teens, college students, adults, English Language Learners, etc.
ALA conference involvement: workshops and sessions, networking through various ALA units and offices to explore the best ways to provide information and services to librarians
Joint webinars with various ALA offices
Publisher and journal lists organized by vendors/distributors to help librarians more easily acquire books in translation
Advocacy on behalf of small publishers to increase their visibility on the review platforms that librarians commonly use for their acquisitions decisions
General education efforts to help librarians understand more thoroughly the value of translated literature and of contemporary foreign-language literature
Pan-publisher catalogs crafted specifically for librarian users, as a form of “one-stop” shopping to learn about new works coming out in translation
Exploration of ways in which non-US publishers of English translations and non-US, non-English-language publishers can more easily promote their works among libraries (Global Literature in Libraries, “About,” 2016)
If you would like to get involved with GLLI, please contact Rachel Hildebrandt at firstname.lastname@example.org. GLLI also have a Facebook group, which you can find here.
This session was comprised of two individual presentations. The first presentation was given by Paula M. Smith, Reference Librarian, from Penn State Abington and focused on the Global Awareness Dialogue Project (GADP). GADP is a faculty development program that engages faculty in the exchange of ideas about contemporary global issues in education, with an emphasis on non-Western educational systems. The sessions are three hours long and are open to 20 or so faculty members who register for the program.
After Smith introduced the session, we were asked to complete The Numbers Exercise, which was developed by Roxanna Senyshyn and Marianne Brandt. Essentially, it’s a list of simple math problems, but the directions indicate that subtract means to multiply; divide means to add; add means to divide; and multiply means to subtract. So 12 x 2 really means 12-2. After a few minutes, Smith asked how we felt completing the worksheet. I said it was stressful. The idea behind this is that this is the sort of frustration international and immigrant students feel navigating American academic life.
Smith then discussed the types of GADP sessions they have had at the university. In one program, a panel of international and immigrant students were able to tell faculty members about some struggles they have had in the classroom. For example, a few students mentioned they were not familiar with cursive and were Googling the characters one by one. Some students also explained that they felt uncomfortable because many of their American classmates would leave exams early; these students said they were used to using the whole time allotted for an exam. There were also some challenges about what academic integrity means in the western context.
Another neat thing I jotted down that was a result of one of the GADP sessions was that faculty members who speak more than one language started putting little stickers (or signs) on their windows/doors that said, “My name is_____. I speak ________.”
Simpson shared a sample assignment that professors/librarians teaching information literacy, business, marketing, and communication could use. It’s a simple but effective assignment. “In 2014 a food and entertainment public relations firm called Strange Fruit was the subject of a media backlash. Ask the students to Google the term strange fruit to see why.” Students then answer these questions:
To what does the term refer?
Where did the term originate and who has used it since then?
What would you tell this firm if during the media firestorm they had come to you for advice?
During the session, we also did a pair-share in which we came up with groups or people we could partner with to share about TILE, such as a diversity committee, student life/affinity groups, teaching and learning groups, university departments, human resources, provost/president’s office, and other relevant people or groups.
How is your community or junior college library—or institution at large—working to build and develop more inclusive learning environments and teaching practices? Do you think your institution would benefit from using or adapting these resources?
(Examples from the GADP session revised on Oct. 25th.)
Now that it’s mid-October, many of us are in the thick of teaching research skills in the classroom and at our virtual and physical reference desks. How do you help create an inclusive learning environment? How do you learn about reaching diverse populations in your instruction?
The ISDivPops committee’s charge is “[t]o support instruction librarians in providing instructional services to diverse populations. The committee reviews, researches new content, updates, and promotes the ‘Multilingual Glossary’ and the ‘Library Instruction for Diverse Populations Bibliography’ bi-annually, focusing on one document per year” (“Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee”). The bibliography includes print and electronic resources key to development of effective methods and materials for providing library instruction and teaching information literacy competencies to diverse student groups.
In spring 2015, the committee moved the bibliography from a static PDF document to a Zotero bibliography that utilizes collaborative and dynamic features. In fall 2015 and spring 2016, the committee added new student populations, including veteran students, and also worked on adding tags and new content. The committee focused on adding resources written primarily within the last ten years that specifically describe teaching diverse groups within an academic library context. In 2016/2017, the committee will continue to update the bibliography and will also be updating the Multilingual Glossary.
If you come across an article, book, website, or another resource you think would be a good addition to the bibliography, do let us know in the comments. Ernesto Hernandez, Teaching and Learning Librarian at University of California Irvine, is the chair of the Instruction for Diverse Populations committee this academic year.
Stay tuned later this week for a resource not yet in the bibliography that I discovered while at the NDLC.