I'm interested in Diversity in the Profession

Diversity in our profession is everyone's responsibility - bring your voice and ideas to these sessions. 

Interested in other topics? Check out the conference scheduler and use the drop down "Subject" search field or visit the interests pages to see other topics. 


African American Pioneers in Library Leadership: Bridging the Past to the Present
Saturday 9:00 - 10:00AM
This conversation starter seeks to further advance the scholarly record of African American librarians’ impact and influence as information professionals. Attendees will learn about trailblazing men and women who affirmed their legitimacy as librarians during a time in American history that was governed under ‘separate but equal’ legislation. 

LITA Diversity & Inclusion Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon and Resource Share
Saturday 9:00 - 10:00AM
With many libraries (academic, school, and public) focusing on diversity and inclusion, it is helpful to know what tools and resources other librarians are using to guide the conversation of diversity to the front. Wikipedia is considered to be one of the largest encyclopedias on the internet. However, fair representation of notable but underrepresented people and topics remains a major concern. The LITA Diversity & Inclusion committee invites you to participate in helping us curate the information that is available on Wikipedia. 

Bullying, Trolling, and Doxxing, Oh My! Protecting our Advocacy and Public Discourse around Diversity and Social Justice
Saturday 10:30 - 11:30AM
Our institutions and professional organizations espouse diversity as a virtue and actively look for ways to promote and demonstrate these convictions. But this is not without personal risk and challenge to individuals, groups, and organizations who proactively and vocally engage in this work. This panel addresses a sadly common, but not very discussed, aspect of engaging in work on behalf of equity, diversity, and inclusion -- being targeted for harassment because of one's social justice work. 

ACRL/SPARC Forum: Diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications
Saturday 2:30 - 3:30PM
While governments, funders, universities, publishers, and scholars are increasingly adopting open policies and practices, how these are actually implemented is still in flux. As open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community. This year’s ACRL/SPARC Forum at ALA Annual will invite panelists to address the challenges of building an open, inclusive, and equitable system for scholarly communication and to start a conversation about how we can all contribute to this important work.

Making the case for diversity: Grassroots leadership as a catalyst for change
Saturday 4:00 - 5:00PM
This interactive session brings together librarians who have taken a grassroots leadership role in driving diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (DEI) at their institutions. In this forum, we will discuss how to integrate DEI throughout your organization, moving forward to effectively collaborate with partners to impact social change. Attendees will hear stories of challenges and success from speakers from a range of small and large institutions, and will leave this session with some actionable ideas for becoming change agents at their own institutions.  


Whiteness in LIS: Tracing its Impact, Mapping Resistance
Sunday 10:30 - 11:30AM
Practitioners, scholars, and activists are increasingly locating and troubling whiteness in LIS. In fall 2017, the first book-length treatment of the topic, Topographies of Whiteness: Mapping Whiteness in Library and Information Science (Library Juice Press), was published. Join contributors to this volume for a panel that explores both the historical and current impacts of whiteness on the profession, as well as how it can be addressed. 

Cultural Competence & Collaborative Conversations: A Path to Providing Equitable Services for Multicultural Patrons
Sunday 1:00 - 2:00PM
In 2016, Arapahoe Libraries introduced two Intercultural Librarian positions. Tasked with supporting and improving the district's services to underserved populations, we took a new approach to developing the district's internal staff training around services to multicultural patrons that was grounded in the concepts of cultural competence and intersectionality. Our goal is to share with you our findings on how these conversations with staff are helping our library district position itself to better serve this group of patrons. 

Intercultural Competence in Knowledge Representation
Sunday 1:00 - 2:00PM
Knowledge organization systems (KOS), including vocabularies and classification systems, represent our world of knowledge and information resources. Inclusion or exclusion of topics, terms, and the choice of “authorized” terms all affect resource representation and access. This presentation will discuss preliminary findings from a recent study on the intercultural awareness and competence of professionals who develop, maintain, or apply KOS.

Breaking Below the Surface of Racism, Whiteness, and Implicit Bias
Sunday 2:30 - 3:30PM
As we work in our libraries providing services to our campus communities, we often find that our institutions exist as microcosms of our larger society, including the presence of racism, whiteness, and implicit bias. In light of our core professional value of diversity and social responsibility, this interactive session will give us an opportunity to tackle what can often be very uncomfortable issues that arise in our library work. 

Spectrum Anniversary Reflections on 20 Years
Sunday 4:00 - 5:00PM
In 1996, then ALA Executive Director Elizabeth Martinez called a group to meet in City Librarian Luis Herrera’s office in Pasadena, CA. For over 20 years, librarians had spoken about the lack of diversity among librarians, the lack of equity, and that the profession did not reflect the population. It was time to develop an initiative to address this inequity. 20 years later Scholar Champions are actively expanding local networks of librarians of color and supporting one another in retaining a diverse leadership but set against the same backdrop of an overwhelmingly white profession. Join us as Spectrum's founders and Scholar activists reflect on the past and set a vision for the program's future to ensure that 20 years later the conversation will be different.


When to speak up, when to listen: Allyship, race, and communication in the academic library
Monday 10:30 -11:30AM
Being an ally in a library can look very different when practiced by library staff of different racial identities. Reviewing one’s own identity in relationship to power and privilege is an important step in deciding how to communicate with patrons, peers, supervisors, and others. Our panel discusses how racial identity influences our communication styles as allies. Looking at examples of classroom teaching, one-on-one research consultations, and experiences in staff meetings we review various ways race impacts allyship and present questions to ask oneself in the effort to provide equitable spaces for communication in library work.

Servant Leaders in the Library: Overcoming Adversity to Diversity
Monday 1:00 - 2:00PM
Critical Race Theory (CRT), the study of the intersection of race, law and power, and Servant Leadership can be powerful tools to help libraries identify organizational problems and heal their organization. The speakers will expand on the methods attempted to transform their organization in the spirit of Critical Race Theory and the resulting climate change that has been slow-going but nonetheless, positive. 

Hidden Disabilities in the Workplace
Monday 2:30 -3:30PM
The subject of invisible disabilities - referring to symptoms such as “debilitating pain, fatigue, dizziness, cognitive dysfunctions, brain injuries, learning differences and mental health disorders, as well as hearing and vision impairments” - is becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Accommodations made in the workplace for invisible disabilities can include flexible schedule, special software for assisting with scheduling or prioritizing tasks, or architectural changes such as a standing desk. This program investigates invisible disabilities in the workplace, possible coworker perceptions and barriers to requesting accommodations.