ACRL/NY 2018 Symposium, December 7, 2018
Libraries in Direct Action
8:30 – 9:00 – Breakfast, registration, and poster sessions
9:00 – 9:15 – President’s address and ACRL/NY business meeting
Thomas Keenan, President, ACRL/NY
9:15 – 9:20 – Opening remarks
Gina Levitan, 2018 ACRL/NY Symposium Chair
9:20 – 10:20 – Panel 1
Libraries and the Possibilities for Decolonizing Universities: Perspectives from the Indigenous Studies Project — Danielle Cooper, Ithaka S+R
Library practices that are inclusive to Indigenous communities and scholarship are grounded in the recognition that Indigenous cultures feature unique experiences and knowledges. Indigenous studies scholars utilize methodologies that challenge Western conceptualizations of “knowledge” and “research,” which necessitate library services and tools that diverge from Western models of research support. In recognition of this, 35 librarians at 12 academic libraries are conducting a collaborative qualitative study on supporting Indigenous Studies scholars utilizing Indigenous methodologies. This presentation describes the project and discusses how it relates to the vital work of fostering Indigenous research within university contexts and moving universities to be in right relationship with Indigenous communities more widely.
SLIDES for Libraries and the Possibilities for Decolonizing Universities
Challenging Whiteness through the Use of Library Research in Africana and Latino Studies — Eric Acree, Cornell University; Tony Cosgrave,Cornell University; and Tom Ottaviano, Cornell University
At Cornell University. a credit-bearing library research course offered in the spring and summer semesters which uses Africana and Latinx studies as entry points to library research. The course is titled “Research Strategies in Africana and Latino Studies.” This one-credit research strategies course introduces students to resources, research strategies, and the critical thinking skills needed for finding and evaluating materials at Cornell University Library and beyond. Attention is given to various formats using information resources such as the library catalog, print and electronic indexes, etc. Class time is devoted to both lecture and hands-on learning. The focus is primarily on the ACRL Frames regarding authority, value, inquiry, and strategic exploration of information. Among the topics that may be discussed are racial identify, racial bias, and racial privilege. In both sections students are given the opportunity to investigate or challenge the concept of whiteness.
The panelists will discuss various aspects of the course, facilitate a discussion around the issue of the library’s challenging whiteness in higher education, and answer questions. Attendees will receive sample materials from the class, including an annotated bibliography rubric used in the class.
SLIDES for Challenging Whiteness through the Use of Library Research in Africana and Latino Studies
10:20 – 10:40 – Break and posters
10:40 – 11:40 Panel 2
Wrestling with Dewey: Reclassifying Books on People of Color, Women, Immigrants, and LGBTQ for Greater Visibility–Jess deCourcy Hinds, Rachelle Monteau, Layla Ralekhetho, and Khadij Tandja, Bard High School Early College Queens
At Bard HS Early College Queens, students have been working on a project to tweak the Dewey Decimal system to avoid racism, sexism, and homophobia in the organization of the collection. The librarian asked a select group of students to comment on the placement of books about African-American, Chicano, immigrant, queer, and women’s history. Students noticed that books in these categories often lived in the 300s, the Social Science section, rather than 900, the History section (while some African-American history books could be found in both sections). The librarian asked students to consider how to reclassify books to create a more diverse and inclusive history selection. At times, challenging questions arose about where to place biographies of people of color or interdisciplinary books (such as a book about African-American women in science). The students and librarian will present their semester-long project to overhaul the Dewey Decimal system for a more socially responsible (and ever-evolving) library.
SLIDES for Wrestling with Dewey
Challenging Ethnic and Minority Group Terminology in the Library of Congress Classification System–Alexandra de Luise, Queens College; Yoko Inagi Ferguson, George Mason University
Speaker 1, Alexandra de Luise, will address the way ethnic groups are classified in the Library of Congress classification system. The E184 call number area is where such books sit on library shelves. As a subclass, it is identified as “Elements in the Population,” a phrase used in statistics to sample people, places and things and to gather data on a population. The E Schedule was developed early on, in 1904, when the United States had certain ideas about race, gender, nation-building and citizenship. Marginalized by way of terminology and book circulation figures, the E184 classification is long in need of re-examination.
SLIDES for Challenging Ethnic and Minority Group Terminology in the Library of Congress Classification System
Speaker 2, Yoko Inagi Ferguson, will address current thinking and the future with regards to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and subject terminology. Bringing in to her discussion the Dominican Republic as one of the examples, she will demonstrate how certain ethnic and minority groups are underrepresented in the current standards. Today, these standards are widely used not just to organize materials at LC as originally intended. LC needs to actively review and expand the current outline and terminology to better respond to marginalized groups of authors, topics, and users, and we librarians can take a part.
11:45-1:00 – Lunch and posters
1:05-2:15 – Session 3
Academic Libraries and the Public Good: Community Partnerships and Outreach–Tatiana Bryant, Adelphi University
Organizers’ note: we regret that due to unforeseen circumstances, Ms. Bryant will not be able to present at the Symposium.
Libraries and Nonprofits: Collaboration for the Public Good (Library Juice Press, forthcoming) is an edited volume of case studies that explores collaborations between libraries and nonprofits to provide impactful services and programming to communities. In this presentation I will highlight best practices for successful library and nonprofit collaboration geared towards libraries that have begun to participate in community engagement, outreach, and advocacy, as well as public and social sector organizations interested in developing innovative service delivery models.
Queens Immigration History Project: Changing the Narrative through Community Partnerships–Kathryn Shaughnessy, St. John’s University
A university librarian and the chair of the history department established community partnerships with Queens Libraries’ Queens Memory Project, National Archives at NYC, and NYCDOE to obtain a grant to develop a grade 10 NYC curriculum that challenges traditional, Eurocentric NYC immigration narratives.
Grant monies and university/partner in-kind contributions were leveraged to offer professional development opportunities for NYC teachers to create a curriculum that encourages students to research their family histories by specifically exploring the motivating world history factors that have contributed to migration and immigration in recent history. Academic and public partners worked together to create a curriculum that allows students to be discerning users of digital archives, but also to contribute archival-quality objects that reflect current NYC immigrant community narratives, and which can, in turn, become resources for other immigration history researchers.
Engaging, Educating, and Empowering: Developing Community-Driven Archival Collections–Nancy Godoy, Arizona State University; Lorrie McAllister, Arizona State University
Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community currently make up over 42% of Arizona’s population, but each of these communities are only represented in 0-2% of known archival collections. Arizona’s current archives have romanticized the state’s “wild west” history and dehumanized communities who have played an instrumental role in history, from long before Arizona was a territory or state.
In order to address this inequity and erasure, Arizona State University Library was awarded a $450,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a three-year project (2017-2020) designed to co-develop authentic and inclusive community-driven collections. Under the leadership of Nancy Godoy, Lorrie McAllister, and Alana Varner, the project implements Archives and Preservation Workshops and Scanning and Oral History Days that enable the growth of “community archivists” and promote equal ownership of archives and shared stewardship responsibilities.
In addition, ASU Library is engaging historically marginalized communities, including people from all ages and educational levels, by digitizing and making publicly accessible existing archival collections from the Chicano/a Research Collection and Greater Arizona Collection. The Library strives to embed itself within local communities to build the relationships and trust needed to add diverse voices to the archival record.
2:15-2:35 – Coffee and dessert break and posters
2:35-3:35 Session 4
Can We Reach the White Tower?Barriers to Staff Promotion and Retention in Libraries–Naomi Binnie, University of Michigan; Alyssa Brissett, University of Southern California; Kenya Flash, Yale University; Kelleen Maluski, Sarah Lawrence College; Diana Moronta, New York Institute of Technology
This discussion will focus on barriers and obstacles to staff promotion and retention in academic libraries experienced by librarians who started as paraprofessional staff. Paraprofessional library workers are often faced with issues when trying to transition to the role of librarians that are many times invisible to the institution and librarians within it. Issues of socioeconomic disconnect, the visible lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the profession, educational barriers, communication challenges and the need to code-switch, lack of mentorship, challenges with impostor syndrome, and transitional discomfort are just some of the barriers staff face. Adding to these obstacles is the seeming lack of a pipeline for library paraprofessional workers who wish to become librarians. We will give concrete examples of how working our way up has impacted our experience as librarians, how we have struggled with particular aspects of academia, and how we have navigated this landscape.
We acknowledge this is a panel of librarians who secured librarian positions, and we are aware of that privilege. It is not our intention to speak to the experiences of every paraprofessional or prospective librarian. Moreover, it is important to note that this panel does not view librarianship as the end goal for all support staff.
SLIDES for Can We Reach the White Tower?
Following Your Own Yellow Brick Road: A Toolkit and Guide to Managing Your Library Residency–Quetzalli Barrientos, Tufts University
As our field of librarianship struggles with the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in librarianship, residency programs have made a comeback in the past three years. Although residency programs have been around since the 1980’s, the ACRL Diversity Alliance has been quick to gain a gathering of over 30 schools to pledge to hiring a resident librarian. With any diversity and inclusion initiative, there are the ups and downs. Many librarians have presented on how to structure residencies, what to expect from them, how to improve them, etc. While the academic employer of this resident librarian bears most of the responsibility for developing this new professional, a lot of the work and initiative falls on us—the resident librarian. This work includes emotional labor, advocating for ourselves, and finding support outside of our institution. This is why we must take direct action and form tools to ensure our own success in librarianship.
This presentation will be a toolkit in the form of a digital zine that includes steps on organizing your residency, professional development tips, and how to get the most out of your residency, but it will include advice and words of wisdom from former and current resident librarians.
3:35-3:45 – Closing remarks and door prizes