Diversity Meeting Minutes
August 9, 2001
Present: Conner, Dewey, Mack, Manoff, McClure, Miller, Rader, Royse, A. Smith
Recorder: A. Smith
Mack opened the meeting by welcoming the Dean to the committee meeting and commenting on the successful diversity luncheon. The luncheon attracted forty-seven staff guest and two-invited guest. Rosa Thomas, Coordinator of Student Health Services and Mattie Tippitt from the Office of Equity and Diversity were the guest in attendance.
Royse stated that Rosa Thomas was very impressed with our definition and the layout of the posters. The Dean added that she felt it important that we let others know about our diversity efforts. Mack commented that she had also invited the staff from the International House and that she felt this to be a positive gesture in maintaining good relations with a campus organization with an important diversity role.
Mack went on to comment that Keally had recommended that we continue to associate the titles of our activities with some aspect of diversity. Mack stated that we should continue to strive toward making the library a welcomed environment, where anyone who comes into the library feels welcomed.
Mack then turned the discussion toward the diversity inventory that is being explored by the Assessment sub-group (Conner, Miller, Royse). Rader asked if the sub-group had decided on a target date for the survey. Royse replied by saying that the sub-group is hoping to have something ready for the committee by September, and that they were hopeful that we would be able to conduct a survey during the month of October. In reviewing the literature on this topic, Royse stated that most of the studies are being reported by public libraries. According to Royse, Fairfax County Public Libraries has published information on a library diversity assessment. Conner reported that she has just finished a qualitative research class and conducted a study on library diversity. The study involved a pilot survey with two participants. One of the participants suggested that activities similar to the library-sponsored Holocaust Display is a positive way to promote diversity, in a non-intrusive manner. Conner stated that discussion groups were also suggested, followed by focus group studies.
Mack then asked the Dean if we should be considering any other charges or duties in fulfilling the library’s diversity agenda. The Dean stated that she believes we are certainly on the right track. She went on to comment that there are current diversity efforts at the national library level and that she is actively involved. ARL Diversity activity has been active offer the past few years. There is a diversity sub-group that Dean is a member of, Camille Hazuer Is the Chair of the group and a former UT employee. ARL sponsors a Career and Leadership program designed to increase the number of minorities in academic libraries. The program establishes a mentor/participant relationship where the mentor is a director of a library. The Dean then provided us with some of the background into the research of the person she currently mentors. The Dean also mentioned a second program launched by the ARL Diversity Committee that attempts to provide scholarships to information and library science student that are interested in academic librarianship. The diversity program at ARL is staffed by full-time people and offers some consulting. Jerry Campbell, Nancy King, David Ferriero, and Ernie Ingle are some of the other member of the sub-group.
The Dean went on to add that in her discussion with the Provost, he had suggested that he viewed our committee taking a campus leadership role and that he is excited and supportive of our efforts. The Dean provided him with 35 posters reflecting the Diversity Committee’s mission statement. Dean Dewey suggested that we keep in mind any ideas we may have about presenting on a campus-wide level. She went on to suggest that we think about diversity as it relates to some of the existing programs, i.e., the speaker series. The Dean is also interested in partnering with other departments to hosts diversity programs and suggests that we need to keep thinking about our students. Mack suggests that the Art Department may be a good partner for a diversity program and the Dean added that an exhibition is a way to being things out of a collection that one wishes to promote.
The next ARL meeting is in October and the group meets twice a year. The Dean asked that we think about topics to present at the Annual Diversity Conference in April 2002. Mack asked about funding for this conference and the Dean felt that she might be able to send one or two, but would need to wait until the University works out its budget situation. Royse then asked about funding for the Assessment workshop on September 10-28, 2001 and the response was positive. The Dean believes that it might be possible to fund one from the group for this important training. McClure then asked if the diversity efforts started by Dr. Gilley were still in the works. The Dean replied that she had not heard anything about the efforts but that she would add to her agenda and get an answer back to the group. Royse asked if there are any efforts between the library and the library school to promote diversity programs. The Dean replied that she is very interested in such an effort but that she did not want to try and do too much at one time. Suggests that we may want to invite Elizabeth Aversa to one of our committee meetings. Mack mentioned that Aversa is hosting a Sunday luncheon for SIS students and that this may be a good way to network with a large group. Royse mentioned that Doug Raber is working on developing a course on the subject.
** The Dean departed **
Mack suggests that we may want to think about hosting a diversity program. Royse went on to suggest a TLA program on diversity. Smith suggests that we also consider an Information Alliance sponsored program. Manoff volunteered to take a look at the TLA calendar for proposal submission.
** Miller Arrives **
Miller adds that proposals need be submitted by October 19th. Said that the TLA committee is looking for programs that can reach a broad audience. Rader suggests that we ask Camille Hazuer to come and speak. Miller suggests that Memphis Public, TSU, Knoxville College, or Nashville Public might be good partners for this type of program. Rader added that Vanderbilt is very supportive of diversity programs. Miller suggests that initially we need to find out what initiatives are currently underway. Mack adds that a good title will be important to a successful program and is charging the group to come up with one. Mack volunteered to contact UT Memphis; Smith will contact TSU and Vanderbilt. Rader suggests that we also talk with the Director of International Studies.
The next meeting is scheduled for August 23, 2001