Diversity Committee Meeting – November 2, 2006
Present at Meeting: Kawanna B., Mark P., LaVerne G., Rita S., Gail W., Tom S., Andy M., Thura M., Cheryl D., Jane R, Becky R., and Jeff F.
• Trunk or Treat: Kawanna announced that Trunk or Treat was a success and offered thanks to everyone who participated: Rita Smith, Sara Green, Thura Mack, LaVerne Gray, Mark Puente, Delphine McClelland, Teresa Walker, and Molly Royse. Pictures from the event are available online at: http://www.lib.utk.edu/diversity/activities/outreach/2006trunkortreat.html. Kawanna and Mark were also both quoted by the Beacon following the event. The Committee will look to participate again next year.
• Display Case: Kawanna announced that she had asked Martha to hold the display case for the Committee two times next year: January 22 – February 19, 2007 and July 2007. The times can be used for the Culture Corner or for any other event the Committee would like to support.
2. Culture Corner: The Culture Corner vote took place to determine the spring and summer semester themes. Ideas contributed by campus community members as well as library community members were considered. The following new themes were under consideration:
• Democracy in America or Politics
• Non-Christian Belief System
• Language, Slang, and Society
• Cherokee Nation (particularly the Eastern Band of North Carolina)
• Artistic expression from around the world (visual art) or The Theatre or Shakespeare.
• War, Terrorism
• Adolescents and War
• Deaf & Hearing Impaired; Blind
• Appalachian CultureThemes from Previous Semesters:
The following suggested themes from past semesters were also considered
• Illegal Immigrant Workers
• Buy USA
• Immigrants and America or America and Immigrants
• The African Diaspora
• Lord of the Rings (Fantasy Culture)
• Scandinavian Culture
• Polish Culture
• Religion in America
• Korean Culture
• Baha’i Faith
After discussion a vote was taken for everyone’s top two and Appalachian Culture (with an emphasis on the Cherokee) and Non-Christian Belief Systems were selected as the top two themes. It was decided that Appalachian culture would be done in the Spring and that a focus on the Cherokee would be attempted. Kawanna would refer back to the resources from the previous summer Appalachian theme and also use a bibliography to determine if there were additional items that should be purchased for the topic. Non-Christian Belief Systems was selected for the summer and it was also decided to change the title to “World Religions”. Anyone interested in helping with either corner is invited to contact Maud to help with planning and book selection.
Related to the topic of Language, Slang and Society – it was suggested that the topic submitter: Bethany K. Dumas, could be asked to provide a “Let’s Talk About it” session on the topic. It was also suggested that Democracy in America could be used by the Reference Department’s Book Display Group as a theme idea.
3. Diversity Committee Goals: Kawanna asked everyone to look at the rewritten goals as sent out via e-mail the previous week. She asked that if there were no final corrections or updates, that these goals be submitted as final and placed on the Committee’s website. She reminded everyone that changes could be made and that the goals could be updated or changed at a later date if necessary. Those in attendance agreed. The goals are now available online: http://www.lib.utk.edu/diversity/organization/goals.html
4. Libraries’ Diversity Plan: Discussion of goals included by Committee and future goals. Jill was unable to attend the meeting but sent two major questions to Kawanna for the Committee to consider in terms of the diversity plan. 1. Take a look at Goal 3 and see what the Library can do to help recruit and retain students on campus. Rita suggested that we are already doing a lot in the Libraries towards this goal and mentioned the activities from Reference and Instructional Services that work to help better prepare students academically to succeed, including the Library workshops, our work with the Student Success Center, the online Tutorials being made available on how to use the Libraries’ resources, and Research Assist. In terms of recruitment, Rita mentioned that the Libraries participates in recruitment events on campus, including two events that focused on African American students and there parents. Tom and Rita both mentioned that on a financial front (a serious part of retaining students) that the Libraries does hire a number of student workers and also provides flexible scheduling for them so that they can work and complete their school work in a comfortable manner.
The second point that Jill asked the Committee to look at was in goal 1, objective 3 in terms of determining a benchmark. Kawanna asked Thura what types of evaluation were being done for the library staff orientation program that is now in place (Training is now in charge of this with help from the Diversity Committee). Thura stated that it is informal but that feedback is being received from the employees who go through the orientation and that their feedback has been used to change the program and also used to contact HR to suggest changes that need to be made to the university orientation program.
Jill had also previously asked the Committee to consider new goals as well. Jane suggested that we could add a goal that mentions that the Libraries are an information resource that can help support the collection of information on different populations as mentioned in the diversity plans for other programs, like Extension.
Kawanna mentioned the idea of including a section in the Dean’s newsletter or on her blog that reports back on the Diversity Committee’s activities. She also suggested that another option would be a Diversity Newsletter sent to all staff and faculty in the Libraries that detailed the Committee’s activities, past reports and updates on upcoming events.
Jane also suggested that we take a look at the Ready for the World document submitted by the Libraries to see if additional goals would be available. Kawanna said she would type up the suggestions as well as make corrections to the current goals and get those to Jill (and also share with the Committee).
Rita also mentioned that she and Donna are working on improving access to assistive technology in the Libraries including 24 hour options in the Commons.
The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, November 16th at 1:00 and was designated as a subgroup meeting. As conveners have not been identified, Kawanna will call both of the meetings and send out reminders. She will also schedule both 605 and 150 for use by the Subcommittees. Subcommittee listings are now available online at: http://www.lib.utk.edu/diversity/organization/subcommittees06-07.html.
The meeting was adjourned
Respectfully submitted by Kawanna Bright – November 2, 2006