When the Tools are Broken: (Re)Building Community for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Building toolboxes, refining skills, and developing frameworks are only a handful of methods library professionals are using—and learning to use—in their everyday workplace. The necessity grows with each challenge faced, whether it’s censorship and book banning, navigating workplace conflict, or maintaining the organization’s commitment to social justice. Those who lead and manage teams, departments, and libraries work to find the means to best serve their organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion needs. Busy schedules, small budgets, and fewer resources create further barriers. For many, this work is done alone and without a community to support needed changes. The tools and skills that were given and taught by their organization, and profession, are broken.
In this facilitated dialogue focusing on building a community, participants will share learned experiences, develop accountability partners, and actively learn potential responses to an array of workplace challenges. Participants will crowdsource solutions and options to challenging situations at their libraries. This results in practices that build professional networks and enhance leadership capacity.
Melia FritchProfessor, Kansas State University Libraries
Dr. Melia Fritch is a Professor and Academic Services librarian at Kansas State University. Leading the Learning Experience and Design team, Melia assists with creating learning environments and consults in the development of innovative services and intuitive interfaces for both internal and external users. She is the co-coordinator of the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies housed within Hale Library; serving as the Libraries’ Diversity Point Person for the university, Melia fosters a commitment of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging within the university community. Her research interests include critical information literacy/library instruction, curriculum development, critical pedagogy, instruction assessment, qualitative research, with a central focus on diversity and equity. She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Library Science, Master of Arts in English with an emphasis in Cultural Studies, and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies.
Tara ColemanProfessor, Kansas State University
Tara Coleman is a Professor and the Program Services Coordinator for the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab at Kansas State University Libraries. She co-coordinate the Libraries’ Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies; serve as a university ombudsperson, and is the coordinator for the university’s common reading program, the K-State First Book.