October 11, 2007 Minutes- UT Library’s Diversity Committee
Thura Mack convened the meeting.
I brought up the bookshelf issue and offered to the Committee that we would discuss the issue in-depth after our guests had spoken.
I updated the Committee on our participation on GLBT month activities. With the question of the bookshelf issue we would not be able to provide a book table this month, but we had announced the events planned by the campus committee, and I had attended their first library event. It was put forth by Thura that we could offer more later as there would be ongoing events for this topic throughout the coming months, and that we had done the best we could for the time being. I asked that other Committee members attend the second upcoming GLBT event in the library to show our support of the campus committee’s efforts.
Other announcements were asked for from the Committee members and Jane Row mentioned an event that I will have to ask her to send out a notice to the Committee on as I missed adding it to my notes.
1. Michelle Brannen gave her proposal first. She explained the basics of how the two students she had in mind would offer insights into their experiences in Japan to other UT students through the use of space on the library web server. She explained that systems would create a directory and account for the students to use. Permissions would have to be obtained. Thura offered that Barbara would have to be notified just to give a ‘heads up’ as to the plan. Allison was concerned that the project seemed more of an IT oriented project, but Michelle offered that it would fit into the Ready For The World initiative, so would also fit into the Diversity Committee plan. It was agreed upon by the Committee that we could sponsor the proposal as a pilot program, and later other entities could be brought in if the pilot seemed successful. Those entities could perhaps take over sponsorship of the program then, or decide to co-sponsor it with the Diversity Committee.
2. Jeanine Williamson next presented her proposal to the Committee. For January, she proposes that the Committee promote Disability Awareness with a program asking library student workers, staff and faculty to anonymously submit stories to be posted by the Diversity Committee concerning their experience with a disability, what resources they found available to help, how they coped with the disability, and what frustrated them with it, or in trying to get help with it. She also proposes that we have a medical professional come for a Talk-About-It to provide a discussion on disabilities. The purpose is to dispel stigmas concerning individuals with disabilities. The Committee members present voted to adopt her proposal for January.
1. I announced to the members present that I always take their suggestions, as well as other staff and faculty suggestions seriously, and intend to address any such suggestions before the Committee. As was previously put forth, Ann Viera had suggested that the Committee consider the use of lanyards to express culture diversity within the Committee. I broached the possibility of this before the members present and in a unanimous vote the members present voted not to use lanyards.
2. The subject of the bookshelf was readdressed and I explained how Rita had sent me an email about getting permission from OIT for space in Commons North, and a second email from her stating that we should discuss the issue with Jill. I then explained how Thura and I had met with Jill on the day before and how she had brought up many interesting questions that the Committee had not thought of in-depth. (I had passed out copies of those questions to the Committee to view.) Jane Row honestly put forth that the library was short five faculty members as well as several staff positions, so the possibility of obtaining a permanent faculty supporter- even though they way want to- may not be able to due to the shortage and having to take on extra responsibility in other areas. Trisha Brady expressed a concern that, in trying to fully create the ‘big picture’ for the monthly bookshelf, the commitment the Committee made to the Native American Association for November may be jeopardized. Sandy Allen told Trisha that she had already completed research on the book list the Native American Association had given her and she had found a portion of the books on the list, but would either have to obtain the others through inter library loan, or the library would have to purchase them. She interjected that there were a couple of books on the list that she thought the library would be interested in buying. The Committee was asked for suggestions on how to alleviate the problem, and several members spoke about modifications to the original plan and perhaps use a shelf of the Cultural Corner bookshelf to highlight events on a monthly basis. With November, and thus Native American Month so close, Thura suggested that a temporary solution might be to take the existing Cultural Corner down and use the entire space to promote Native American Month and the Native American Association. The Committee members present liked the idea and voted to do that. Jane suggested we talk to Ann Bridges to see if she still had a bibliography for the Native American related pieces that were used in the exhibit before. Jeff French stated that he would talk to Ann about that. Jane suggested we include Government Documents in this presentation, and offered a suggestion to Trisha that she should apply for Ready For The World monies. Trisha has been the Committee’s liaison to the Native American Association since the faculty advisor Lorie Roberson attended our meeting. She will keep the Committee advised as to the developments with this project with the Native American Association. Thura and I agreed to begin the process of dismantling the existing Culture Corner and setting up the new exhibit as items become available. The topic of a permanent monthly bookshelf was agreed upon by Committee members present to be discussed further in the next business meeting. It was agreed that we had included what updates were available presently for Native American month in this discussion.
3. Allison Roberts announced that she had placed the resident reception invitation on Sharenews, and had sent it to Patty to be put out as an ‘All Staff’ announcement. Thura told the Committee that she had mailed the invitations to the VIP list given to her by Barbara. Trisha Brady gave the Committee an update on the menu preparations and allowed that, due to careful choices in food selection, we had come in $40.00 under budget for the reception. Thura provided that Becky Roller would help with decorating before hand, and Allison stated that she would contact Margaret about the banner. Jeff French volunteered to help set up the reception, and different Committee members offered different times they could attend, or help in some way.
4. Allison Roberts provided the Committee with an update as to her other groups experience with the World Grotto, and it was agreed upon by the Committee members present that the resident lunch will be held there. The World Grotto is a small restaurant located in Market Square. It was agreed upon that Committee members and residents will meet at a designated location on the bottom floor of the library and ride the trolley to the restaurant and back again on that day. Allison Roberts will call the restaurant and make reservations for the group.
5. In discussing the Winter Party, the Committee clarified that its participation was to help with and not host it. I provided that I had still not heard back from the Ronald McDonald House, and Jeff also had not heard back from John Tarlington House. It was offered that the Ronald McDonald House has many large and/or local supporters, and John Tarlington house has few, so the Committee will take no further action in contacting Ronald McDonald House, but will wait to see if they contact us for further discussion on any help we may offer them this year. Jeff will contact John Tarlington House again to see if we may be of any help to them through this party. Allison queried the subject of the Coats For The Cold campaign, and the Committee decided to wait until the next business meeting to discuss this further.
6. The subject of the Committee web page was discussed with all members present agreeing to allow a change of graphics for the pages. The mission statement was to be looked at further and a decision on a change for it would be discussed at the next Committee business meeting.
7. The topic for the next Cultural Corner was not decided upon beyond the agreed upon change for Native American Month although, it was noted that the Culture Corner was too big of a project to change more than twice a semester. Jane suggested that if there was not a readily available topic that the Committee look into the Speakers Bureau for ideas.
8. I brought up our support of the Black Programmers as a topic where there was a question whether the Committee would be asked to provide physical support for future projects. For clarification, for the time being our verbal support is understood to be enough.
As a final address to the Committee it was announced that there will be a program Tuesday night “We Shall Overcome” at 7:00 in the auditorium.
The sub-committees did not meet due time running out.