#critlib 2016-10-17: diversity/inclusion/anti-oppression at public service points

Archive of the October 17, 2016 #critlib chat on diversity/inclusion/anti-oppression at public service points, moderated by @gnomadlibrarian. For more info about #critlib, including past and future chats, visit http://critlib.org/

  1. Public librarians: please join tomorrow's #critlib discussion on inclusion/anti-oppression at public service points!  http://critlib.org/public-service-points/ 
  2. hello out there! i never use this thing but 2day at 2p i'm moderating a #critlib chat on diversity at library desks!  http://bit.ly/2di5w0B 
  3. Introductions
  4. Hi #critlib! Welcome to everyone, your moderator for today's chat is @gnomadlibrarian. Chat questions & readings at:  http://critlib.org/public-service-points/ 
  5. Hi everyone and welcome to this #critlib chat about diversity/inclusion at our service points! Let's get started with some intros :)
  6. I'm Liz, a library specialist at an academic library and I focus on training our service point staff. Excited to moderate this #critlib !!
  7. Hi #critlib, I'm Violet, academic cataloger in the middle of Minnesota. Big thanks to @gnomadlibrarian for last-minute chat moderation!!
  8. Hi #critlib! I'm Kelly, academic librarian in Oregon. I'll be in and out, but looking forward to seeing what folks have to say!
  9. Might be a low turnout at #critlib today just because of last-minute announcement, but such a valuable topic! Any lurkers out there?
  10. hi! I'm at an academic library in san diego. as a reference coordinator really looking forward to today's chat! #critlib
  11. A tad late because dust got back from a meeting. Hi #critlib! I'm a cataloger at a medium-sized academic library in central Minnesota.
  12. I'm Nimisha, an academic librarian lurking from Ohio! #critlib
  13. @gnomadlibrarian And we may want to re-run chat at a different time, I know public libs often have difficulty with daytime chats. #critlib
  14. hi #critlib! Katlyn, info lit librarian in MO. I will be in & out--working on some classes for tomorrow.
  15. There's a #critlib chat on inclusion in libraries happening at the same time as the #DLC #FLDP conference session on public libraries.
  16. Hi #critlib! Adam, instruction/ref librarian lurking today from the Philly area.
  17. Lindsay Cronk here! Always love #critlib on a Monday afternoon. Mostly just reading today.
  18. Hi #critlib. Daniel, Elec. Resources lib at CC in the Bay Area.
  19. what's going on #critlib? I'm sorry that I'm missing this one, but I'm teaching in 15. looking forward to catching up on the discussion!
  20. Keep the intros coming, and we may re-run this chat in the future, but let's get started with what we've got! #critlib
  21. Q1. What does diversity and inclusion mean to you and/or your library?
  22. Q1. What does diversity and inclusion mean to you and/or your library? #critlib
  23. A1. Going beyond just being "welcoming" & expecting patrons to do all the work without serious investment from the library. #critlib
  24. To me diversity & inclusion in libraries means fair representation and critical allyship from white/cis/abled library workers #critlib
  25. A1. Showing that we are invested in the community and its well-being on all fronts, not *just* literacy or our circulation stats. #critlib
  26. a1 that lib staff and users feel welcome. going beyond 'token' reflection in our numbers to really create an inclusive environment #critlib
  27. #critlib Q1 quoting @bannedlibrarian from @oaklibrary  she has been instrumental in leading various inclusion projects https://t.co/lZ3j0MGzXl
    #critlib Q1 quoting @bannedlibrarian from @oaklibrary she has been instrumental in leading various inclusion projects pic.twitter.com/lZ3j0MGzXl
  28. A1: in our Strategic Plan, diversity = "We recognize, promote, & value the differences within our organization & community. #critlib
  29. A1: Beyond that, inclusion means meeting people where they are, not just waiting for them to do things our way. #critlib
  30. A1. at a recent wkshp, I heard that our users 'should be able to see themselves represented from when they walk in our doors." 1/2 #critlib
  31. A1. I haven't been able to figure out what that looks like in practice. 2/2 #critlib
  32. re @socaldesi, I am trying to conceptualize special collections that make discovery easier, more social, etc. #critlib
  33. A1. Diversity and inclusion that shares power with marginalized communities #critlib
  34. A1. also, creating space for discussions surrounding diversity, racism, anti-oppression for all levels of staff #critlib
  35. @gnomadlibrarian Super important point! Seems much easier for librarians to get funding for training than staff, in my experience. #critlib
  36. And staff are so often the point of entry to library services, that it's crucial to have them wholeheartedly on board & trained. #critlib
  37. A1. Taking steps toward seeing more diverse representation at our service points: anti-bias training, anti-racist hiring practices. #critlib
  38. @violetbfox yes! they can't be 'one-shot' we offered a webinar so now we can check it off the list. training has to be ongoing #critlib
  39. A1: Of course, diversity and inclusion can also be buzzwords that prevent folks from actually challenging structures of power #critlib
  40. Very true, I feel that way about a lot of "diversity offices" at univs. I'd like to combat that mentality in our library services #critlib  https://twitter.com/kellymce/status/788081869208170496 
  41. A1: we might not think about websites as public service points, but those should meet accessibility standards, responsiveness, etc. #critlib
  42. A1: Would "inclusion" also mean including community voices in library programs/projects/initiatives? #critlib
  43. @montserratlj Good point. What is meant my 'inclusion' or 'univeral access' is often nuanced. Does multilingual count, for example. #critlib
  44. This DLC/FDLP conference on public libraries is discussing a digital inclusion survey, so it's like having synergy with the #critlib chat!
  45. @gnomadlibrarian There's an interesting legacy in names of diversity offices too. Many are called offices of minority affairs or... #critlib
  46. @montserratlj I think so. working in acad lib, we're great at partnering with campus folks. I think we cld do better w/ larger cmty #critlib
  47. @gnomadlibrarian During grad school, I was involved in several fights to include disability under the diversity banner. #critlib
  48. That's awesome! We have a pretty rad diversity council in my lib who actively thinks about D/I in a very intersectional way #critlib  https://twitter.com/metageeky/status/788083208478871552 
  49. including disability services. we're making strides right now to correct some weird access issues to further help disabled patrons! #critlib  https://twitter.com/gnomadlibrarian/status/788083661044350977 
  50. @metageeky @gnomadlibrarian our campus still trying to get disability studies classes eligible for the EDI course undergrads take #critlib
  51. Q2. What does an anti-oppressive service model look like?
  52. Q2. What does an anti-oppressive service model look like? #critlib
  53. @gnomadlibrarian other terms usually historically associated with race. It narrows the definition of diversity. #critlib
  54. A2. I think there has to be flexibility involved for the community you're serving, not one-size-fits-all. #critlib
  55. A2. Not making assumptions about patrons - offering a variety of solutions to take into account abledness/access issues/etc #critlib
  56. A2. Respect is a big part of it--seeing patrons as individuals, respect for their struggles and passions and joys. #critlib
  57. A2: No automatic deferral of a patron to a special service. I've often seen a person in a wheelchair directed to accommodations. #critlib
  58. A2. I don't know. re- part-time staff, I'm torn btwn offering flexible hrs or gaining exp and taking advantage of part-time staff #critlib
  59. @gnomadlibrarian We do now and back then had people who joined the councils to help push that point. #critlib
  60. A2. To be perfectly clear on what it *doesn't* look like: an all white, all woman, all middle-aged, all able-bodied library staff. #critlib
  61. A2. Sometimes it can be as simple as coming out from around the ref desk to talk to a patron to remove the inherent power structure #critlib
  62. patrons appreciate it when I walk them to the shelves. it's my job and I'm happy to do it.  https://twitter.com/mishiebhat/status/788084594176294912 
  63. A2. Being respectful and inclusive, & understanding & hopefully challenging own privilege during interactions. #critlib
  64. A2. Reflecting the community back to themselves, in staff composition as well as in programming topics and outreach efforts. #critlib
  65. A2 (cont.) and when your community is (relatively) monolithic, providing diverse perspectives in reading material and programming. #critlib
  66. I forgot to include respecting legacy and digital divide issues. Not bandwidth heavy, reasonable backwards browser support, etc. #critlib
  67. A2: Lots of listening. Cultural competence. Adequate training for those in public. #critlib
  68. A2 working at college campus, I also try to advocate for 'public' users-- access to services, collections, computers, etc. #critlib
  69. A2 is what I've been having trouble conceptualizing. I work at a very white/uppermidclass univ, so it's hard to grasp for some empl #critlib
  70. A2. For one thing, being very conscious about who is represented in book displays and selections for kids' storytime. #critlib
  71. Q3. Beyond hiring diverse desk staff, what other steps can we take to create an empowered and inclusive service point?
  72. Q3. Beyond hiring diverse desk staff, what other steps can we take to create an empowered and inclusive service point? #critlib
  73. A3: Consider how you "advertise" yourself. Is there diversity in your pictures on brochures, posters, websites, etc.? #critlib
  74. Keep in mind that you can stray into "token diversity" criticism when doing this. Don't reuse the same "diverse" people. #critlib
  75. @metageeky And if you have to resort to reusing the same "diverse" set of people, be aware that you have a problem to be addressed! #critlib
  76. @violetbfox It can be a small numbers issue too if only so many people volunteer for media. #critlib
  77. @violetbfox Microsoft often has the same set of disabled users volunteer for usability testing. The tech optimizes for them. #critlib
  78. @violetbfox There's been a lot of push among the accessibility folks there to expand the volunteer set through outreach. #critlib
  79. A3. Acquisitions is such a big focus at our lib, making sure we listen to our student base and keep our materials diverse #critlib
  80. A3: For accessibility, make a clear link on every page (perhaps the standard wheelchair logo). No need to hunt for that service. #critlib
  81. A3. Focusing on active listening and empathy during service training. And removing the term "customer" from service #critlib
  82. Yes! Stepping away from a capitalist frame of reference--we should be better than that, more expansive. #critlib  https://twitter.com/gnomadlibrarian/status/788087071588118528 
  83. A3. Training, but also making sure we express *why* it's so important. Libraries which aren't inclusive lose patrons & vibrancy. #critlib
  84. A3. think about our policies. and it was mentioned before-- treating our website as a virtual service point #critlib
  85. Great point, @socaldesi--reflecting on policies & who they're there for. Do staff understand and apply rules fairly? #critlib  https://twitter.com/socaldesi/status/788087327558033408 
  86. A3. I work at an art & design school so we aim to order books about/create displays to showcase non-white/non-hetero art/artists #critlib
  87. @mishiebhat Make sure the public service people know about the material being displayed so they can talk about it. #critlib
  88. That's such a good point! Not only increases collaboration & good relations, but empowers service staff to engage deeper with org #critlib  https://twitter.com/metageeky/status/788088983062401025 
  89. Oops: for #critlib chat on public libraries and inclusion. Great tools for listening to full range of service community for any non-profit.  https://twitter.com/lisahubbell/status/788088413073252353 
  90. Q4. How can we incorporate diversity/inclusion/anti-oppression training into general service point training–especially for student employees?
  91. Q4. How can we incorporate diversity/inclusion/antioppression training into service point training–esp for student employees? #critlib
  92. A4. Please share inclusion / anti-oppression resources you've found helpful! I'll bring them together on  http://critlib.org . #critlib
  93. A4 this has been on my to-do/think-about list for years! does anyone have student training materials they can share? #critlib
  94. Been thinking a lot about UX and our lib website, would be great to gather a student focus group to address accessibility issues #critlib  https://twitter.com/socaldesi/status/788087327558033408 
  95. @mishiebhat Keep in mind that disability is very diverse and your focus group will be narrow by definition. #critlib
  96. A4. I talk a lot about the "user journey" to encourage meeting users where they are. but it's v. superficial--i need to go deeper. #critlib
  97. A4. I'm also thinking of handing out the @LISmicroaggress zine to my service point staff to have them work on and encourage convo! #critlib
  98. A4. My institution recently set aside an entire day for faculty/staff to attend diversity training led by social justice advocates #critlib
  99. @violetbfox the entire institution, but our director made it mandatory for us (classes were already on a fall break) #critlib
  100. @mishiebhat A4. Totally understand this is a huge privilege and not all places have the funds/time for this, but it was so great! #critlib
  101. @mishiebhat A4. But maybe a facilitated dialogue/workshops among lib staff & student workers to do something similar is possible? #critlib
  102. @mishiebhat What a powerful message to send to the entire staff about institutional priorities! #critlib
  103. A4. This may seem obvious, but make sure the person doing the training is on board with diversity & inclusion! Story time follows. #critlib
  104. when I was a grad ref assistant, a librarian explained to me that our policy was to point out where both bathrooms were when asked. #critlib
  105. I thought this was great! No gender assumptions! A solution to no gender neutral bathrooms & bathrooms in opposite directions. #critlib
  106. my hopes were quickly crushed when the librarian telling me this thought we were taking political correctness too far #critlib
  107. after that, I was less likely to suggest diversity & inclusion things bc of how the full time staff would treat me as a student. #critlib
  108. Similarly, in terms of ability, don't just point people to the stairs -- point out the elevators, too. #critlib  https://twitter.com/libraringkat/status/788090577128521728 
  109. A3/A4 as someone who until v recently was in access services, microaggressions at desk are something I think about a lot. #critlib
  110. A3/A4 (I know I perpetrated a few myself!) so training on microaggressions and how to avoid them would be important, I think #critlib
  111. an important point-- how can we support each other when we witness microaggressions at desks, either btwn staff and/or users #critlib  https://twitter.com/aamcnamara/status/788091158375399426 
  112. @aamcnamara Just teaching concept of microaggressions lets people identify hard-to-see problems. I love microaffirmations concept! #critlib
  113. @socaldesi yes! how to deal w/microaggressions btwn users was one of the things I felt most powerless abt at desk. we need tools. #critlib
  114. Well that's our #critlib chat! Thanks to everyone who was able to participate! I'm def going to use twitter more now--it was fun :)
  115. As we wrap up today's #critlib chat, thanks to first-time moderator @gnomadlibrarian, who did an excellent job!
  116. I will volunteer to Storify/archive today's #critlib chat so I can highlight all the wonderful resources shared on  http://critlib.org !
  117. Great job @gnomadlibrarian on modding #critlib and look forward to hearing your voice on Twitter.
  118. @gnomadlibrarian thanks for a great #critlib chat! Also, hi VA library buddy! (even if I currently live in MO)