Art Libraries Society of North America 32nd Annual Conference, New York, NY
Roosevelt Hotel, New York, NY—April 15-21, 2004
Diversity Committee Meeting
Friday, April 19, 2004, 2-3 p.m.
Compiled by Miguel Juarez, University of Arizona Library
Members in Attendance:
Guest: Jerome Offord, Program Office for Training and Diversity at the Association of Research Libraries, Washington, D.C.
Marilyn L. Russell, Library Director, Institute of Native American Art, Santa Fe
Lucie Wall Stylianopoulos, University of Virginia
Tom Grieves, Art Librarian, Arizona State University
Shannon Van Kirk, Art and Architecture Librarian at Miami University, Oxford, OH
Vanessa Kam, Art and Architecture Librarian and Special Collections, Stanford University
Elinor Nacheman, Rhode Island School of Design
Miguel Juarez, Fine Arts Librarian, University of Arizona Library
Laurel Bliss, Assistant Art Librarian, Princeton University
Jing Liao, absent, due to illness
Miguel acknowledged the ARLIS board for reconstituting the committee and led a round of applause to Mari and Lucie for encouraging the board to reconstitute the committee.
Miguel asked member to give an overview of the history of the committee for Jerome’s information.
History of the Dissolution of the Diversity Committee:
Marilyn shared that two years ago when the board decided to streamline the organization, one of the committees that was streamlined out was the Diversity Committee. Mari and Lucie were unaware of the committee being dissolved. Members voiced their concern on the ARLIS/NA listserv. Members also asked for a forum in Baltimore that was well attended where members articulated the need to continue supporting a Diversity Committee. One of things that was so instrumental was that Miguel had recorded the forum from last year’s conference and then he put it online and that was a wonderful form of communication because then it include other people’s comments: http://www.library.arizona.edu/users/juarezm/addingteeth.html
Afterwards a group was formed called the Diversity taskforce. After the forum, a small group consisting of Daniel Starr, Allen T., Mari and Lucie S. decided that the committee needed reconstituting.
In order to keep consistency for the Diversity Committee, Miguel asked for Lucie and Mari to stay on as consultants, or as Madrinas--wise old mothers. Shannon said we wanted to keep this institutional history and we could also use the added support.
Marilyn stated that wherever we are in the organization, we need to be vocal about diverse representation. Mari is a member of the nominating committee, Lucie is part of the strategic planning taskforce and diversity can be part of those committees as well. Miguel announced that is was the new moderator of the Gay and Lesbian Roundtable (GLIRT).
Attempts to work together across groups is still problematic. Miguel suggested that in whatever groups we find ourselves in that we promote diversity proactively and publicly. Shannon Van Kirk stated that members in the Women and Art Roundtable said that one way to make it impossible for the board to consider dissolution of a group is for a group to be providing value content. They spent a lot of time making scholarly contributions to their group, strengthening their web site and making individual member's research available on the web site. Shannon suggested we make the product of the Diversity Committee more obvious--that would make it harder to dissolve the group.
Diversity Web Site:
Members asked about the status of the web site of the Diversity Committee? Eric Schwab was the last person who maintained it. Mari checked it six months ago but links are old. Lucie stated that it should be assumed that the web site will be under the umbrella of the new web site coming up. Strategic plan people are watching for that--to see how fast Jack Robertson will be getting the new web site up. There will be a new webmaster in place and as far as we understand it, the Diversity Committee will have space in the new site. Shannon suggested we start providing content now so that we are ready when they are ready.
Strengthening the Diversity Committee's Position with ARL:
Miguel asked Jerome Offord if there were specific items that we could offer to help strengthen our role with ARL. Jerome stated that he was still trying to grasp how the organization (ARLIS/NA) views diversity, with issues of the committee being dissolved and then for members to have been in an uproar and fight to get it back sends a very strong message to the library community around a group of members saying this particular committee is not important right now--at some point, sends a real strong message, even though now the key players are saying, let's now play fair, but it doesn't wipe away the history that has taken place. You push us away and now you say, smile and let's play fair. There are definite things partnering with ARL that can be done. ARL's strongest program is the "Initiative to Hire a Diverse Workforce." We just got funding from IMLS to give out stipends and do leadership training for librarians of color who are interested in research libraries. ARL also provides a leadership and career development program for librarians of color with post-five years of experience that really want a one year intensive leadership training track to catapult them to mid-management and someday get them to the AUL level, but give them some tools that they can use to stay very strong in the profession.
This year, ARL was asked by the Medical Library Association to leave two spots for two candidates to participate in the leadership program. Jerome stated that he wasn't sure that ARLIS/NA had committed an interest to engage in a similar program with ARL. Jerome stated the program provides an opportunity to have a mentor who is a library director in an ARL Library or in a medical library and they mentor them for a whole year. They connect with them, arrange visits, they engage in three online classes, Library Fundamental and Professional Writing Skills, Power Dynamics and they engage in two intensive leadership trainings. It is a very intense program but it is a very, high level. People in the profession observe the minorities who go through the program and connect them as future leaders with the expectation that most of them are going to stay in the profession but they start becoming prime candidates at the national level. Another program ARL sponsors if their "Initiative to Hire a Diverse Workforce," that provides persons interested in academic librarianship with a yearly stipend of $10,000 and supports travel to both Mid-winter and the annual ALA Conference, as well as a mentor for two years to guide them in the profession. Jerome said he has started undergraduate recruitment for library students. Jerome stated that once undergraduates see what librarians do in real life, it produces enthusiasm for the profession. The ARL Diversity Committee is very interested in issues of diversity. How they can connect is the big question. Jerome then asked if there was anyone in ARLIS/NA that worked with issues of diversity in the organization.
Lucie W. stated that last year, she had fulfilled the role as Special Liaison to ALA from the Diversity Committee who will continue in this responsibility this year. She asked for volunteers to take her place as the liaison in the coming year. She supported the idea of the liaison to make the way for collaboration with programs in ARL.
Jerome said the recruitment piece is important, but retention is just as important. Jerome stated it was vital for librarians of color to have a mentoring relationship with someone in the profession for them to succeed.
Shannon said the diversity committee was interested in undergraduate recruitment in art librarianship. The committee will explore the creation of a brochure to be sent to library schools, contacting library schools and partnering with organization such as ARL. Jerome stated it was also important to figure out what library schools emphasize art librarianship--where do the top programs exist? Indiana and Pratt were mentioned as exemplary library programs.
Lucie suggested making a strong connection with Knowledge River at the University of Arizona or the program at the University of Oklahoma that could possibly attract Native American students to the profession.
Jerome stated we really have to beat the path when it comes to undergraduate minority students. We cannot assume that they will be beating down the doors to become a part of us. We have to be on the streets and in the centers. In minority-serving institutions, sometimes the resources are very different so sometimes their campus libraries are going to be tremendous different. Sometimes students don't get to interact with professionals at some of the smaller libraries.
Miguel stated the Diversity Committee needs to work closer with his office to promote art librarianship. Jerome suggested that we develop a brochure that he can take with him when he travels so he can expose students of color to the field. He cited the importance of connecting to future students and then actively pursuing them.
Vanessa asked Jerome if he had any connections with the Spectrum Program. There are also many people applying for the Spectrum Program so not everyone who applies gets accepted. ARL's Leadership Program is known in the academic library community but there is a five year gap. Some academic library students go from the Spectrum Program to the Minnesota Institute, which is for new librarians who have graduated, but the ARL program maintains that five year difference between Minnesota and ARL. People get lost in the profession until it is time to come back to another institute.
Lucie said she talked to Tracie Hall about how we could collaborate with the Spectrum Program. Hall said Spectrum does offer their fellow’s membership in library associations, so anyone who is interested in art librarianship would feasibly be offered a year membership in ARLIS/NA, at the organization's expense. Lucie said she took that information to the board previously but there was no action on it.
Laurel Bliss stated more people needed to know what Jerome had told us and asked if there would be time in the Diversity Forum for these items to be shared. Miguel stated that Jerome was speaking at the forum.
We will be following up with committee members to develop a recruitment brochure directed at underrepresented groups.
Update Column Editor:
Susana Tejada was asked to fill this role and she is contemplating the assignment. Miguel asked for volunteers from those in attendance. He said we would work out the specifics via e-mail; in addition, we are seeking someone to volunteer to maintain the web presence.
Committee Name Change:
Miguel proposed that we change the name from Diversity Committee to the Diversity and Outreach Committee. Shannon Van Kirk said that there was a process. Lucie stated that we are still not technically part of the framework. Lucie suggested we talk with Jeanne Brown and get it from her perspective. Miguel and Shannon both received letters from Jeanne Brown as co-chairs for the Diversity Committee. Shannon stated we needed to select a Vice-Chair, Chair Elect, Webmaster Secretary and Update Editor. Miguel asked for volunteers and suggested people possibly continue additional years because this consistency was needed. Mari was a chair for four years. Shannon said we are going to have to be ready to pass the torch at some point. "We are going to have to someone ready with the anticipation of moving into that position," she stated. Shannon suggested we continue this discussion via e-mail and identify persons for the positions needed.
Establish Liaisons with the Strategic Planning Committee:
Shannon asked for a volunteer for this liaison duty. Lucie volunteered.
Appointment of Liaisons to Other Library Organizations:
Miguel asked members if anyone was a member of other library groups where they could serve as liaisons to those groups.
Shannon and Laurel are members of ALA Arts. Shannon volunteered to be the liaison to ALA. Lucie stated she would notify Jeanne Brown of this development.
Vanessa Kam said she was a member of the Progressive Librarians.
Shannon said that liaison roles include taking our concerns to those organizations, as well as bringing their concerns and issues to us. Miguel also stated that liaisons could keep the Update Editor informed about new developments from their liaison organizations.
Student Travel Award:
Miguel said he was approached by Allen T. at the Cocktail Party on Friday to write a summary proposal at this meeting and submit it to the board before the end of the conference to support a Diversity Award that the board could feasibly fund for an amount of $1,000. Tom Greives stated the reason was because they could feasibly vote on it in the executive committee and that it could be something very simple. That it could be later fine-tuned another time, but that if we didn't get it in now, it would not be considered until July. Miguel asked for volunteers to help him draft it. Lucie was also approached by another Executive Board member who had been pushing for this on everyone’s behalf other than Allen, so there is momentum within the board. Lucie said that this was another reason that we should try to get it written tonight because there is momentum within the board to do this right now and that it was in our best interest to capitalize on it--maybe a page. Ellie Nachman and Shannon Van Kirk volunteered to work on it and then deliver it to Miguel for fine-tuning.
Other New Business:
Lucie reminded members to fill out the pink sheet for the Strategic Plan--five questions to let members know what is important for the organization.
Program Ideas for the Houston 2005 Conference?
Shannon suggested organizing a panel of opportunities available elsewhere to include individuals like Jerome, Tracey Hall, someone from MLA, some from REFORMA and other groups, etc. A sub-group will follow up on Shannon’s suggestion.
The meeting was adjourned at 3 p.m. so members could attend the Diversity Forum.