40 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 Puente: Is there anything that I’ve missed today? Is there anything that it’s important to communicate to leaders who want practical strategies for supporting DEI work now and into the future? Kumaran: Listen, engage, participate, act. Leaders cannot do everything, but they need to consider who would be best positioned to do this work. Think about whether it is appropriate to ask BIPOC employees to engage or not. Where else from the organization can there be leaders? Maybe libraries can take the lead in these efforts, beyond collections and resources—going back to reimagining. Promising exemplars include the Canadian Health Libraries Association. People are doing anti-racist work. This needs to be done for the right reason, by the right people. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) released its Competencies for Librarians in Canadian Research Libraries in September and DEI is a big part of the new competencies. DEI is important in a system-wide context. More and more conversations are happening…we have to find a way to sustain these conversations. More and more underrepresented librarians are engaging in these conversations. Either through research, conference presentations and publications, and other platforms. But sometimes we are preaching to the choir, it is the same people who do this work, participate in these events. How do we convince everyone that this is important? Witt: Thinking about, and working on, laying a foundation of stick-to- it-ness. How do we avoid the traps of being polarized and immobilized? Moving into social justice is really difficult. Asking people to move into a space that is deeply uncomfortable when we don’t know how to do it yet. Librarians tend to need to do it right…we refuse to step out onto the stage until it’s perfect we have to learn how to let go of perfectionism and build trust. Be ready to fail over and over again, be ready to be uncomfortable. That actually helps build trust. If our colleagues have the trust to tell us when we’re messing up, then I need to be appreciative of that trust and call it a win: people are willing to tell me how they are engaging in the hard stuff.
Previous Page Next Page