Diversity Committee Meeting – March 9, 2006
Present at meeting: Molly Royse, Maud Mundava, Linda Flynn, Donna Braquet, Christine Nassir, Maribeth Manoff, Rita Smith, LaVerne Gray, Becky Roller, Shantel Agnew, Roger Weaver, Tom Smith, Gail Watson, Sandy Leach, and Kawanna Bright
Kawanna announced that there would be a Staff Enrichment Sub-committee meeting following the Diversity Committee meeting.
Molly offered an update on the proposed Spirit Award for Diversity. After getting solicitation and feedback for all of the Spirit Awards, it was suggested by Barbara that the we would need a little more time to process the Spirit Award for Diversity. Comments and suggestions indicated that more time to work on the language and to work on defining the criteria would be important. This would mean that future proposals would be better prepared and it was also suggested that next time the call would come directly from Barbara. Roger asked about the feedback and Molly informed us that much of it was constructive including suggestions that the Committee be placed in charge and that no member of the committee could be allowed to win the award. There were some negative comments but this may just be an indication of how much we still have to do in terms of diversity.
The International Festival is planned for April 21st. Rita is in charge of getting people to work the table. She will let everyone know as soon as the tell her what the time, etc. will be.
Molly announced that Alan Wallace was interested in doing a “Let’s Talk About It” related to his music research. She would be in contact with him about possible dates in May or June.
Molly announced that she and Barbara met with the Black Cultural Center about enhancing their library. Barbara pushed the idea of offering instruction, workshops other there and possibly setting up a workstation there with resources available and a website to pull all of the information together. They mentioned that they might need help with cataloging and Barbara let them know that we could provide advisement and suggestions for programs they could use. They are possibly looking at having a sort of check out system.
2. Upcoming meetings – known cancellations and visit with Loretta Parham
Kawanna asked everyone to mark their calendars for April 12th. Linda Phillips had managed to set aside a time for the Diversity Committee to meet with Loretta Parham during her visit to the libraries. The “meeting” is scheduled for April 12th from 9:30 to 11:00 in the Faculty Lounge. Kawanna encouraged as many of the members available to come and to bring questions they may have for Loretta. Information on Loretta background was asked and Kawanna will find some biographical information to share with the group prior to the April 12th meeting. Loretta will also be speaking on April 11th at 3:00 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.
The April 6th meeting was cancelled due to a conflict in Kawanna’s schedule. The March 23rd meeting was cancelled because of Spring Break planned absences. A meeting was scheduled for March 30th at 1:00 p.m. to make up for the scheduled cancellations. Kawanna will check with Patty on the availability of 605 and let everyone know where the meeting will be located.
Roger told the committee that there was a student in Bharat Mehra’s class working a project related to diversity resources for community research. She has asked if she can attend an upcoming meeting and wanted to know if the meeting now scheduled for the 30th would work. Kawanna asked if it was okay with the Committee and everyone agreed. Roger will let her know that the 30th is a date open for a visit and also the meeting scheduled with Loretta Parham on the 12th.
3. Wrap-up from Student Appreciation Celebration
Kawanna mentioned that she thought the celebration went very well. Molly shared the article Becky wrote for the Training Newsletter with everyone – the article spoke about all the work done by everyone, not just the Committee, to make the event happen. Becky suggested that we also try to codify a few things, such as picking the date for the students who will be honored – should it be end of the Spring semester or end of the fall semester in terms of how long they’ve been working at the Libraries. Becky suggested end of Spring rather than end of fall.
4. Update on visit from Lennisa Mostella – April 20th?
Kawanna updated everyone on the proposed visit of Lennisa Mostella, UT’s Diversity trainer. Lennisa has agreed to visit with the committee during the April 20th meeting. Kawanna asked that everyone come with questions that they might like to ask of Lennisa. We can also consider the possibility of having Lennisa work with the Libraries’ employees.
5. Diversity Research Grant – ALA Opportunity
Kawanna introduced the idea of the Committee applying for the ALA Diversity Research Grant. Sandy has originally brought it to Kawanna’s attention. One of the 3 research areas covered by the grant is “The Role of the Diversity Committee, Liaison, or Officer in the Creation of Institutional Change in Libraries”. Kawanna asked if this was something the Committee thought they should pursue. Rita suggested that the Environmental survey done in 2001 would be a good basis and that the timing would be just right since it would be approximately 5 years since the 1st survey was done. Molly mentioned that in the end of the Portal article, they had mentioned that repeating the survey was one of the goals. Sandy suggested that we might be able to take a more historical approach to the topic and cover all the things the Committee has done since its inception and the changes related to the Libraries. Sandy asked if they could only submit one proposal and Kawanna mentioned that she did not see anything in the proposal list that suggested that. Kawanna suggested that the committee could submit both proposals and see what happened. Kawanna will send out a call for volunteers to help work on the proposal ideas. The deadline is April 15th giving the Committee about a month.
6. April Staff Diversity Celebration
Becky passed out a sheet with updates on where we were at with the celebration planning. Kawanna and Molly let everyone know about the survey and how it was going. Rita suggested sending the survey out more widely than ShareNews and Kawanna will have Patty send out a library-wide e-mail early on the week of the 13th. The Staff Enrichment subcommittee would work to keep everyone informed and we will go from there.
Respectfully Submitted by Kawanna Bright