Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 May 17

The following  post is one in a regular series on issues of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, compiled by Jay Weitz.

Seguimos Creando Enlaces (We Continue Creating Connections)

The tenth annual free all-day virtual library conference, Seguimos Creando Enlaces (We Continue Creating Connections), will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2022. With the 2022 theme of “reCreando Enlaces/reCreating Connections,” the conference aims to build community connections and expand cultural diversity in public, special, and academic libraries around the world. Sessions will be presented in both Spanish and English, including captions and live translations. Live attendance is encouraged to allow participation in the Q&A sessions, but recordings will also be made available after the event. Award-winning memoirist and novelist Reyna Grande (The Distance Between Us) will deliver the keynote address. Executive Director of the nonprofit humanitarian organization Border Angels, Dulce Garcia, will also speak and answer questions. Registration, the full schedule, and additional details are available at Zoom Events. The conference is presented by California Libraries Learn (CALL), a collaborative project of the California Library Association and the California State Library (OCLC Symbol: CAX) in the United States.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, doubly honored with the American Library Association’s 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Awards for both author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper (who passed away in July 2021), will be the subject of a free webinar on May 23 at 3 p.m. Eastern. On the panel are Weatherford, additionally the recipient of a Newbery Honor, Caldecott Awards, NAACP Image Awards, and Children’s Book Guild award, among many others; Larissa McNeil, Coordinator for the African American Resource Center of the Tulsa (Oklahoma) City-County Library (OCLC Symbol: TUL); and Laura Raphael, Children’s Services Coordinator for all Tulsa City-County Library locations. ALA’s Coretta Scott King Book Awards Round Table (CSKBART) hosts the webinar focusing on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre during which Tulsa’s prosperous African-American Greenwood District was looted and destroyed by a white mob, who killed a still unknown number of Black citizens.

Poetry books by LGBTQ Asian authors

With the confluence in the United States of April as National Poetry Month, May as Asian Pacific/Pacific Islander American Heritage Month, and June as LGBTQ Pride Month, Arvyn Cerézo, offers 10 Poetry Books by LGBTQ Asian Authors To Read Right Now at Book Riot. Journalist Cerézo edits the English-Spanish news magazine La Jornada Filipina in Manila. Cerézo’s list includes “poetry collections from authors across the LGBTQ spectrum: gay, transgender, lesbian, and nonbinary, among others. The list also features works from both Asians and Asian Americans.”

Library users fight book bans in Texas

Library workers are not alone in fighting against book bans in the United States. On April 25, 2022, seven users of the Llano County (Texas) Library System (OCLC Symbol: LLCLS) filed a federal lawsuit stating that a “county judge, commissioners, and library director removed several books off shelves, suspended access to digital library books, replaced the Llano County library board with community members in favor of book bans, halted new library book orders and allowed the library board to close its meetings to the public in a coordinated censorship campaign that violates the First Amendment and 14th Amendment,” according to The Texas Tribune. In October 2021, Republican State Representative Matt Krause (Fort Worth, Texas) submitted to the Texas Education Agency a list of some 850 books in school libraries that he found objectionable. In November 2021, Bonnie Wallace, who is now the Llano County library board vice chair, emailed a list of sixty books in Llano libraries to Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham, who quickly ordered the removal of “all books that depict any type of sexual activity or questionable nudity.” Among the books removed are In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak, They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings.

Older Americans Month, May 2022

United States President John F. Kennedy, working with the National Council of Senior Citizens in 1963, wanted to honor the contributions of older Americans, especially those who had served in the military, coming up with “Senior Citizens Month” to be celebrated each May.  Later, both the observance and the designation expanded into “Older Americans Month.”  The Administration for Community Living (ACL), part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (OCLC Symbol:  HEW), leads the commemoration, choosing “Age My Way” as the theme for 2022. American Libraries has joined in with “By the Numbers: Older Americans Month: Stats Celebrating Seniors and Their Library Habits.” Among other things, the article cites special activities and programs for older adults in such institutions as Arlington Heights (Illinois) Memorial Library (OCLC Symbol: JBL), Toronto (Canada) Public Library (OCLC Symbol: TOH), Saint Charles (Illinois) Public Library (OCLC Symbol: PX0), and Powell River (British Columbia, Canada) Public Library (OCLC Symbol: CNPRP). Back in 2020, OCLC honored the Jackson (Michigan) District Library (JDL; OCLC Symbol:  EJ4) with an OCLC Community Engagement Award for its Project BRIDGE (Building Relationships In Diverse Generational Experiences). Still going strong, the project embraces such activities for local seniors as a “Music and Memory” program for persons experiencing Alzheimer’s/dementia, multi-sensory “Journeys Kits” for exploring foreign places or nostalgic topics, traveling programs of “JDL on the Road” for those unable to go to the library, and facilitated “TimeSlips” sessions to foster fun and creativity among those with memory loss.

Implementing the EDI and Antiracism Toolkit

The Oregon Library Association (OLA) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Antiracism Committee presents the second episode of its new podcast, Overdue: Weeding Out Oppression in Libraries. The episode entitled “Combating Oppression at a Leadership Level” features Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, Library Director of Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City, Oregon, USA (OCLC Symbol: ORDRI); and Adrienne Doman Calkins, Library Manager of Sherwood (Oregon) Public Library (OCLC Symbol: OXE). In the March 16, 2022 interview, they discussed their institutions’ implementations of OLA’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Antiracism Toolkit.

“A woman of color library manager” reflects

Identified as Anonymous, a self-described “woman of color library manager” reflects on “5 things I learned as a first-time manager in a predominantly-white academic library” on the website WOC + LIB. She writes, “The purpose of this post is not to scare BIPOC away from management, but an attempt to make them aware that it takes a lot more than skills and experience to survive and thrive as a manager when you are racially minoritized in a predominantly-white profession.” But as she astutely adds, “If you’re a white LIS worker, keep reading.”

One Comment on “Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 May 17”

  1. The way that social orders are turning out to be progressively multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multi-strict is great. Variety is a strength, not a shortcoming.

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