Meeting recap — April 6, 2015

1. Report from Kristen and Jee on what they’ve learned about Administration’s plans

lorraine harricombe and Doug Barnett met with Kristin and Jee and discussed a pilot of student library ambassadors program and the recommendation for a diversity officer, which might be a shared position with DDCE or diversity officer duties attached to another UTL position. Jennifer Heath will look into residency programs.

2. Brief recap of “Lessons Learned” session (please read Kristen’s blog post to refresh your memory)

See blog post.

3. Discussion of membership structure

Staff Interest Groups are always ephemeral. How can we make this a continuing group? Should it become a task force? A working group? A team? A committee? Discussion followed on possible structures and the need for understanding of the official status of the group. SIG has negative connotations for some of our colleagues, but several of us felt reluctant to relinquish the Staff Interest part of the name, which indicates to others how this group came to be and that they too can be a part of it.

Some of our colleagues have expressed interest in joining DASIG. Discussion on how to add members revealed that we don’t want to set an arbitrary limit on the number of members. We decided to issue an annual invitation. Folks can attend a meeting and see what goes on, then let us know whether they can make a one-year commitment to DASIG. This will be announced at the all-staff meeting on Friday, April 10th.

We need a new co-chair. The time commitment is roughly 5-10 hours a month. Current members have until May 1st to indicate interest to Kristen and Jee.

DASIG meetings will be held on the first Thursday of the month, at 2:00 p.m. The next meeting is May 7th. The facilitator is Kelly Kerbow-Hudson and the blogger is Jennifer Heath.

4. Discuss approach to planning next training session

Ally training had been previously mentioned as a possible next training. Due to some awkwardnesses that can arise if attendees decide not to sign the Ally pledge, we decided to look more closely at the session “LGBT Identification: The Basics.” We will pick two dates and two locations for this, preferably in early August, close to when students will be returning to campus. It was suggested that a brainstorming meeting for future trainings would be an excellent engagement meeting to invite people to who are considering joining DASIG.

5. Report outs from members who attended diversity-related programming at ACRL

Members will send two-sentence digests of the ACRL programs they attended.

1) Residency Programs and Demonstrating Commitment to Diversity / Kelly McElroy & Chris Diaz — These presenters believe that residency positions in academic libraries are perceived as “less than,” and that they do nothing to forward the goal of increasing diversity in academic librarianship. They believe that goal must be addressed by cultivating undergraduates from historically underrepresented groups to and recruiting them to go enter graduate library programs. — RB

2) Opening Keynote / G. Willow Wilson — I found the opening session by Willow Wilson to be inspiring as she affects people who have been without a champion, changing the way we see the world.  All library-associated experiences create who we are as an institution–to students, faculty, administrators, and each other, which can influence a person’s sense of success here and beyond. — JH

3) In her paper Developing Best Practices for Serving Transgender Patrons at Academic Library Service Points, Rebecca M. Marrall, Diversity & Disability Services Librarian at Western Washington University Library, talked about the libraries’ collaborations through focus groups with students to decide on signs for their all-gender restrooms. She also reviewed their collaborative process working with the writing center and the library service desk to integrate the university’s preferred name policy into their network – so that library and writing center staff have students’ and staff members’ preferred name – and a best practices for serving transgender patrons document, including using gender neutral pronouns at service desks. — KH

4) In the Scholarly Communication as a Tool for Social Justice and Diversity panel discussion, the panelists discussed racial, cultural, and gender bias in academia, particularly focusing on scholarly publishing practice. The panelists shared their work about moving a print journal to an online open access journal and providing an open access journal service to a student group in an academic institutional repository. — JD