Category Archives: Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes 3/9/2017

DAC March monthly meeting
(with lorraine haricombe)
Thursday 3/9, 11:00am
@Geology Building – Barrow Conference Room JGB 4.102


Facilitator(s): Melanie Cofield & Andres Ramirez
Blogger: Stacy Ogilvie

Attending: lorraine haricombe, Melanie Cofield, Andres Ramirez, Kristin Walker, Jennifer Heath, Stacy Ogilvie, Gilbert Borrego, Loretta Wallace

Spring Panel update – (Jennifer and Gilbert / 5 minutes)

Jennifer and Gilbert reported on where we are with panelists. They have reached out to the panelists for bios. Daniel (UTL’s new graphic designer) is working on iterations of a poster for the event. We plan to distribute the poster to our partners to get the word out about this event. They report great progress, that we are right on time with the stages or organization. Jennifer said that few people have registered on UTLearn for the event so far. We have reserved the larger Learning Lab, and depending on interest can adjust to smaller space. We discussed sharing link to the event on UTLearn with our outreach emails. Jennifer will forward an email to DAC members to distribute to people in our units.

Gilbert and Jennifer are working on the information for the speakers to discuss so that they are prepared. It was suggested that they send each speaker’s bio to the other speakers. We discussed getting them together ahead of time for a practice run. lorraine suggested a (Skype?) teleconference of the speakers ahead of time to practice. Jennifer and Gilbert will follow up on recording the event. We have requested an ASL interpreter, and are awaiting availability confirmation. We discussed the need to add wording to either posters or emails to contact DAC for possible accommodations for the event.

Chill Space update – (Stacy, Kristin, Andres / 5 minutes)

A third floor office space has been suggested as the location for DAC sponsored Reflection/Tranquility space. Chris Carter sent two architectural drawings as options for room designs. Chill Space sub-committee will need to give Geoff Bahre guidance on how the entryway should be designed by the end of March. We discussed the space as a pilot project and will think about how to set this sort of space up in other locations in the future. We discussed ways to build in feedback/assessment from people who use the space. We will consult Krystal regarding assessment possibilities. lorraine encouraged us to move expediently on this project due to the current campus climate. She also likes the culture of this space project being a pilot. Since this is intended as a pilot, she advised us not to over engineer the space and see it as an opportunity to learn from the design choices.

Promoting DAC – Administrative expectations, identifying opportunities (Andres / 15 minutes)

We began a discussion with lorraine to clarify where DAC fits into the promotional missions of the library, how we can increase DAC’s visibility within the larger UTL organization, and increase our integration into the functioning of the organization. We also discussed setting mutual expectations between DAC and the VPC.

lorraine stated that she is very supportive of our work, and will continue to support all the values that DAC embraces. She stated that the current climate provides a chance to elevate the visibility of DAC and an opportunity to “flip the script of the sociopolitical environment that we’re all in.” She stated that DAC has support from the central office, planners and financial support for DAC programming; especially programming that is broader than just the UT Libraries. She encouraged us to work with other groups on campus. lorraine also stated that in any way she can she will reflect inclusivity and diversity in the expectations around the workplace, core values, hiring, and to let her know of any areas where we don’t feel supported. She also asked us to bring any problems within any areas to her attention quickly.

We discussed lorraine’s expectations of us as a new standing committee, and our new responsibilities. lorraine stated that our work is embedded in the sociopolitical environment of campus and that the libraries have the opportunity of being uniquely positioned as a neutral “Switzerland”. “If we don’t challenge ourselves, we don’t change.” She suggested involvement in developing a statement. She also recommended DAC co-chairs attending the LSC/ Administrative meetings on a quarterly basis to provide updates and have a regular forum for discussion. Jennifer Heath is in that group and can serve as our direct liaison. lorraine also suggested that DAC forward our Lessons Learned assessment to LSC as an agenda item.

Prioritizing future initiatives/ projects (Melanie & Andres / 25 minutes)

We discussed ways of expanding campus connectivity, networking capacity and ways to be more outward facing in our focus, how to expand our network without overtaxing the human hours of our group members. We have established collaborative networking relationships with MEC, DDCE, GSC, bystander intervention, and Office for Inclusion and Equity.

We discussed that Campus Climate will require all departments on campus to identify their own diversity committees by this April. The the opportunity of us to provide a model for to emerging new diversity groups in the different colleges and organizations across campus. We also talked about how to make connections with these emerging groups on campus. There is no centralized list of diversity groups, and it was suggested we contact the Dean’s Office.  While it was suggested that DAC might serve as a unifying hub for these groups, Lorraine pointed out that the DDCE currently fulfills this role, and we should instead support them. It was also suggested that we can create a DAC diversity LibGuide.

We discussed the possibility of designating one DAC committee member as a representative on the LSC Personnel Committee. We brought up our previous discussions and the concern of the substantial time commitment it would be for this member. Lorraine suggested that we continue to peruse this goal, and to see what needs to be done to make this happen.  It was also suggested that DAC members taking part in hiring interviews may introduce themselves as such.

National Diversity in Libraries Conference (NDLC) representation (& Brown-Bag share-out) – We discussed the possibility of sending a representative to the NDLC each year (edit: Ben reports that NDLC is not an annual conference, but rather every 2 or 4 years, with the next one possibly being in 2018) We floated the idea of presenting DAC’s experience transitioning from a staff interest group to a standing committee. We would like to float potential candidates from DAC to go to NDLC. We would like to outline of possible presentation topics in our end of year report in time for our open house.

We invited those going to the ACRL Conference this year to share back about diversity- related sessions.

Ongoing Brown Bag series – lorraine is very supportive of a brown bag series to provide a form for talking about current climate issues. We discussed whether this would ideally be part of a series of topics like the Data and Donuts or more of a sudden event response, or both. We discussed the importance of being inclusive, avoiding politicized debate, and instead encouraging conversation and not shutting out different points of view. We will likely consult with DDCE for guidance with (meeting guidelines, and rules of engagement.) We will discuss this further at our April meeting.

Meeting Notes 2/09/2017

Present: Roxanne,  Gilbert,  Melanie,  Allyssa, Jennifer,  Stacy,  Andres, Jessica

Diversity Action Committee (DAC)/Library Staff Council (LSC) Meeting

If we want Dr. Haricombe’s feedback regarding the work of DAC, what’s the process? What should be brought up at LSC Admin meeting?  These questions will be brought up in the February 21 LSC/Admin meeting that Andres will attend.

Our DAC minutes will go out with LSC minutes, now that we are a standing committee of LSC.  DAC will use LSC comment form.  If the need arises, we can explore other options to receive comments.

Are there expectations that DAC will prepare an annual report? If so, what are the guidelines?

We discussed for the need to address the campus climate report in regards to our hiring.  Our goal is to promote diversity in our recruiting, hiring and retention practices.  We discussed having members of DAC on Personnel Committee. We currently have two such members.  For the March meeting, Jennifer will provide a list of where we advertise our positions, which includes advertising to under-represented targeted audiences.  We explored if there is a way to get impressions from under-represented applicants who are not position accepting offers? The Library HR Office can reach out to the candidate to ask.

Lessons Learned Session

Krystal Wyatt-Baxter will lead our Lessons Learned, scheduled for March 8 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in PCL 1.124. This will be potluck, which will include vegetarian and gluten-free items.

Facilitator, Krystal, will ask questions in advance, which will include our hopes for outcome of Lessons Learned session, DAC’s successes and challenges over the last year. Other questions will be about our leadership positions:  How is that going?  Also, how is our transition going from an staff interest group to a standing committee under Library Staff Council?  How is communication officer position going?  We will also document the transition process.

Chill Space Update

Chill space update: Stacy and Andres reported for future renovation we can incorporate considerations for chill spaces.  We can seek out partnerships with other organizations on campus, and to provide recommendations. WE discussed seeking informal feedback.  More quiet spaces are desired in libraries.  What was DAC charge? We can’t designate space only for prayer that is not study space. Typically, such spaces have no desks, may have benches, be a comfortable place. No food or drink allowed. No power outlets. This is a viewable area with doors that cannot lock, no fluorescent light, and provides a calm environment.

Spring Panel Update

Gilbert and Jennifer reported that the spring panel is on track, scheduled for April 13, 1-2:30 in PCL Learning Lab 1.  All panelists have been contacted and PG Moreno has agreed to moderator the discussion.

Recruitment/Spring Open House

During our open house, this will be an introduction of who we are, and what we’re committed to doing.  This is an exercise to inform people, as well as to recruit new members.  Everyone is encouraged to talk to other staff members about Open House.  Please reach out to those who aren’t on other committees. This is also an opportunity to affirm our commitment of why we’re on DAC.  We’ll also explore what has worked well at previous Open Houses to encourage people to join DAC.

It’s time to nominate new co-chair. Melanie will roll off.  Doodle poll to determine May calendar date


Meeting Notes 1/12/17

Held in Life Sciences Library
In attendance: Gilbert (facilitator), Stacy, Jennifer, Andres, Allyssa, Roxanne, Kristin, Jessica (Blogger)

Transition from DASIG to DAC
Andres reported:
Blog: has been renamed, but we still need to change the URL
Listserv: is changed to DAC, but the subject headings still say DASIG…  Gilbert asked if there’s a way to forward from the old address to the new (Andres will check)

-About page has new text (all agreed we should put the mission statement there, and that we don’t need further explanation than that)
-Documents folder: older DASIG documents are in a sub-folder. Main folder contains there are facilitator/blogger guidelines, bylaws, and various other resources.
-There are only a handful of registered members listed on sharepoint. People need to get themselves registered/signed up.

Note that session leaders are now called “meeting leaders”
Moving forward: Andres suggested we need a clear communications plan document to describe where stuff goes, what the process is for communications, etc.
Official announcement:

-will be going out probably at Feb all staff meeting (but we are waiting to make sure everything is squared away to avoid confusion).
-we need to make few key points: transition, name change, announcement of new relationship with LSC, announce the upcoming open house.

Open house not scheduled yet, but we could announce that we’re thinking about April. Allyssa pointed out we should do the open house close to the members transition. Lessons learned session probably happening in March.

Lessons learned
Andres reported:
This is traditionally an annual self-assessment session, held in February. Usually this is facilitated by an outsider. Facilitated by Dr Betty Jean Taylor last year (possibly also the yr before).
Discussion: who should do it this year? should we even do one this year? It’s not in the bylaws…yet. We do probably want some form of assessment to talk about leadership, strengths of group, goals setting, etc., but maybe not necessary?
Last year: Dr Taylor solicited questions prior to the session via a Qualtrics survey. Asked about what were strengths/challenges of group last year, priorities, etc.
Kristin suggested we ask Krystal Wyatt-Baxter — she could walk us through the whole assessment plan.
Jennifer recommended Deborah Fields (training specialist here on campus).
Kim Burdine and Joey Hannah were recommended by Kristen Hogan (GSC)
Everyone agrees we ought to go ahead and do it.
We all seem to agree Krystal would be a great
Andres will send an email soliciting suggestions and close it 1/13. He’ll ask for nominees next week.
We also took a vote to confirm that we all agree we need a session (unanimous yes)
Andres will forward us the results from last year (and solicit suggestions for facilitators)

Meeting with Dr. haricombe
Dr. haricombe has approved/signed the event form, she is pleased and wants to talk with us “early january” to hear more results.
Andres invited her to this meeting but also suggested a separate meeting to discuss:
-clarifying communications plan, managing expectations. What do we want her to share out? Where are the boundaries, etc.
(e.g. staff wanted response to PULSE shootings, is it appropriate for us to respond to tragedies like this officially/formally?)
-What does lorraine think? What is she faced with (wrt Pres and Provost office). What can/can she not say?
Someone noted that we don’t really blog on our blog — this could be a place to share more info/thoughts related to current events?
We want to be responsible, but to have checks in our group, checks within UTL, etc.
We should also clarify when a committee report is expected and what it should contain.
JH: President’s office is going to be pushing for faculty more representative of students. Ripple effects will be beneficial for our recruitments, etc. lorraine is asking how we make our own recruitments more reflective too.
JH suggests that Andres/Melanie go to next LSC admin meeting
Andres will send an email inviting her to the next meeting, telling her where we are, etc. make sure our meetings are on her calendar.
RB: will our group have a role in fact finding, etc. about the more representative hiring push? Jennifer suggests we explore that and dig deeper with what we’ve done, etc. we’re doing well

Spring Panel Update

Jennifer reported that they have set a date (April 13th), and a room (Learning Lab 1) and they have talked to many panel members
Team has been working with Thao on basecamp and Thao will let Travis know about it.

-Announce at Feb all staff
-put on HR update
-put on Lib calendar
-tell our partners DDCE OIE GSC

Final Title has been settled: Gilbert will send that around.
Dr. haricombe also has an event in april (about breaking down barriers) — this is more of a collab with non-ut austin universities, but fits nicely with the theme
call for logos/graphics

RB: question about events like this and what kind of admin/official support there is for our evaluations (i.e. as professional development opportunities)