UT Libraries Diversity Committee Meeting Minutes for November 14, 2002
Present: Tiffani Conner, Troy Davis, Thura Mack, Tamara Miller, Becky Roller,
Molly Royse, Anthony Smith, Renne Smith, Sheila Stephens
Absent: GiGi (Horodysky) Bayne, LouAnn Blocker, Jill Keally,
Maribeth Manoff, Dianne Myers, Anne Pemberton
NEXT MEETING: DECEMBER 5, 2002, 1:10 PM Rm 605
PRIZE PIZZA (part of the Scarecrow 2nd place prize) TO BE SERVED
IMPORTANT TOPIC NOT ON THE AGENDA
Communication within the Committee
It seems we are a very busy committee and have lots of irons in the fire. At times the lines of communication are stretched and break down, therefore it is very important for everyone to please include all of the committee members in communications that involve the committee’s business or will have an effect upon projects we are planning. I guess inclusion begins with us!
REVIEW OF OLD BUSINESS
BeBe Moore Campbell
Members of the Diversity Committee who attended BeBe Moore Campbell’s program reported that it was a good program and well attended despite other programs going on at the same time. They said Ms Campbell’s presentation was very interesting and she commented on the recent campus incident. The Diversity Committee was recognized as one of the co-sponsors of Ms Campbell’s program.
Library Student Recognition Festival
The Student Recognition Festival was a great success! The committee plans to make it an annual event. Tamara reports the photographs of the students receiving their certificate from Barbara look great. They should be available soon. We would like to
give each student a copy of their photograph along with the photograph taken for the recognition poster. There has been considerable interest in the poster that is located near the Circulation counter on second floor. The committee decided to leave the display up until Thanksgiving break. The student newspaper, “The Daily Beacon” should, if it has not already, have a picture as well.
The committee received two letters from staff voicing some concerns regarding the recognition program. One of the concerns raised was the bookplates. The staff member felt that giving the students bookplates with their names on them lessened the faculty bookplate recognition program. The committee discussed this. The student recognition program was approved by the Libraries’ Dean and the head of Collection Development. The difference between the student recognition program and the faculty recognition program is that the students’ program uses new books already acquired by the library whereas the faculty recognition program involves the honored faculty member selecting a title they would like for the library to have. The book is purchased with funds from a source outside the library. The Committee is also willing to take suggestions from library staff on other ways to recognize the libraries’ student workers.
Another concern voiced in one of the letters was that students who are exceptional workers but have not been at the library for as long as two years should be recognized. One of the ways an exceptional student worker may be recognized is at the Libraries’ annual “Spirit Awards”. But perhaps there could be other ways of recognizing these students as well.
A third concern was the book selections. The staff person thought the book selected for their student was not appropriate for the student. The committee discussed this and appreciates any suggestions for improvement of this event. Therefore next year, the committee will ask the supervisors to assist us in selecting the book for their student. The committee hopes to address the concerns and suggestions from library staff.
Programming for Changing Communities: Diversity Issues in Today’s Libraries (Diversity Committee was invited to participate in panel discussion sponsored by Student Chapter of TLA)
Tiffani, Molly, and LouAnn sat on the panel representing the Diversity Committee. A “distant” member of the audience asked them who was the Diversity Committee’s target group. Their response was that everyone is; that we are working for representation and inclusion of all segments of the population as mentioned in the committee’s definition. Theotis Robinson asked us the same question. This led to a discussion about why this question comes up so often. Does it mean that our message is not clear? What can we do to help people understand our goals and our “target audience”?
The LAMA grant program “Diversity is Excellence” has been accepted as a TLA preconference program. The members of the sub-committee (Jill, Thura, Molly, Tiffani, and Becky) are working on the program. One of the concerns they expressed was attendance. It was suggested that the program should be “advertised”. Information about the program can be posted on the following listserv sites: TENSHARE, TLA, SIS, and ETLA.
The LAMA subcommittee also proposes the program, in some form, be presented as a “Table Talk” program at ACRL. The deadline to apply for this is January 7, 2003.
Thura and Molly will present a poster session at TLA on the evolution of a diversity initiative at UT Libraries (similar to the one they did at ALA in June). Their session is one of only two! Poster sessions are new for TLA.
Tiffani, Tamara, and Moly have sent in a proposal for a poster session at ACRL. The topic is our climate survey project.
Theotis Robinson from November 7th Meeting
The meeting with Theotis Robinson and Carlos Gonzalez was very interesting and promising. Mr. Gonzales offered us his assistance. He suggested oral histories from the people involved in the Geier case. Papers on the case are not available at this time, but will become available when the case is closed which may not be until 2011. He is willing to give UT Libraries his papers after that time. We are hoping that LouAnn took notes at the meeting.
Note from Chair:
We need to work in groups to complete these activities that we
have put off for the last two months. We must come to closure!
Group leaders are in place to give us a jump-start. We need
folks to volunteer for the group or groups of their choice.
Web Page (Maribeth and Tiffani-Group Leaders)
Diversity Goals-Method of adding objectives (Dianne and Troy)
Alex Haley Farm visit (Thura and Anne)
Holiday Party (volunteers welcome)
NOTE: Holiday Party will be on December 16th in the Black Cultural Center
FUTURE DIVERSITY PROJECTS
Geier – the committee is interested in pursuing the suggestions of
Theotis Robinson and Mr. Gonzalez
Student Recognition - the committee would like to continue this program
Follow up: Annual reports and budget requests – did not have time to discuss;
continued to next meeting
February display – did not have time to discuss; continued to next meeting
Role in Africa Semester – Barbara is working on programs involving the library;
committee would like to be involved – did not have time to discuss;
continued to next meeting
OTHER TOPICS NOT ON THE AGENDA
Minority Librarian Residency Program
The program for two library residencies for minority librarians was announced in the meeting. The Diversity Committee may have a role to play in this endeavor; more details later.
Letter to Dr. Shumaker
Dr. Shumaker presented the “University of Tennessee’s Vision for Diversity” at a recent forum. The committee thought this was an excellent opportunity to send a letter to Dr. Shumaker thanking him for his leadership efforts on diversity and offering our support. The committee drafted a letter at the meeting. The letter will be sent to Barbara for review and will then be sent to Dr. Shumaker with the committee’s diversity definition.
Tamara suggested that in conjunction with the Geier oral histories we might want to consider recording the people who participated in the “Talking Jim Crow” forum about UT and local black history. The committee thought this was a great idea. Brainstorming a bit they discussed digital webpages, a DIVERSITY PORTAL ( I think we were somewhat pleased with that concept) which would “build a presence and could contain the oral histories, etc.”
On the same day as our Student Appreciation Festival there was another Appreciation Reception. It was for the staff who operate UT’s Warehousing & Surplus. The W&S staff chose the library to receive a portion of the profits they made in surplus sales this past year. Tamara baked some banana bread and Barbara thanked them for thinking of the library. The W&S staff were eloquent and appreciative. They said this was the first time anyone at UT had thanked them for their efforts! Pictures of this event also went to “The Daily Beacon”.