Library Diversity and Residency Studies Conference
Greensboro, North Carolina – August 2019
I am very appreciative of CLRC for awarding me a professional development grant because I was able to attend the Library Diversity and Residency Studies Conference in Greensboro, NC, from August 26-27, 2019. The two days were packed with inspiring, thought-provoking, informative, keynote presentations, and sessions that talked about equity, diversity, and inclusion; best practices on diversity residencies and fellowship; mentorship; student success, and more.
Attendance at the conference aided me with the continued development of the Diversity
Fellowship at my institution, I gained information on how institutions are coordinating and assessing their residencies/fellowships, and many other things. Additionally, I was able to maintain and develop my professional networks that would promote the cultivation of professional development opportunities for residents/fellows, engaged in (peer) mentoring, shared my experiences and information (gathered) with various library institutions.
I moderated and presented twice at this conference. Furthermore, I facilitated two break-out sessions, which were enlightening. It was great to do so. Several
takeaways that I have from this conference are that equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility work is not conditional, optional, or should only rely on one person or someone from or with marginalized identities to do this work. From Deena Hayes-Green, Co-founder of the Racial Equity Institute spoke about looking at the individual, institutional, and structural/cultural level (the groundwater) in regards to racial equity. That racial inequity looks the same across systems. Some critical things that I left with are that we can’t do anything about something, we can’t see and that you can be diverse, but not racial equitable. DeEtta Jones, Co-founder of DeEtta Jones Associates, talked about courageous leadership. Asking questions such as Am I showing up in the world how I want to show up in the world? Are you trustworthy? Asking yourself how do you create and hold space for others to practice? Do you demonstrate the ethical principles that you have/hold? That we need to work on being anchored to inspiration. It takes emotional intelligence, consistency, cultural competency, equity-oriented, in service of others and understanding how your values impact your behavior and more.
Overall, I had a fantastic time and was able to explore the delicious local food offerings, start new conversations and lines of inquiry, continue and end some of them. I left rejuvenated, excited to use my new knowledge and connections, and share widely.
Academic/Research Librarian, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Health Sciences Library
Are you interested in being our next Professional Development Award recipient? Check out the award page for the rules & requirements!