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.