Professional Development

Wanda @ ALA 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014 8:33 am

ALA in Las Vegas was indeed a hot and draining adventure for me, but surprisingly not for my hair. I have decided that climate (one that lacks humidity) works perfectly and that I should move west some day. Recently re-elected to a two year term on the Executive Board, I was happy to join my colleagues at the BCALA leadership retreat on Thursday evening. Friday BCALA Executive Board members continued discussing issues around membership recruitment and retention, web page design and upkeep, as well as the 2016 ALA meeting in Orlando. BCALA has written a formal letter of concern over the American Library Association’s decision to convene in Florida because of its’ take on the “Stand-your-ground law.” We did decide not to boycott, but to go specifically in support of the businesses of color. BCALA would love to have Trayvon Martins’ parents, Sybrina Fulton and/or Tracy Martin join the membership meeting as keynoters. I will work with a task-force charged to further investigate this idea.

Saturday I began familiarizing myself to the LLAMA Vice Chair Human Resources section responsibilities. From what I observed, this year I just attend meetings and acquaint myself with others in preparation for my task in 2015 of appointing members and chairs to the six sub-committees within the HR section. My Leadership Skills committee continued to finalize program proposal ideas for our program at annual. We are also planning for a pre-conference for annual of 2016 tentatively entitled “Out With the Old, In with the New: Recruitment and Retention Strategies that Work.”

The ACRL Personnel Administrators Group meets twice at mid-winter and at annual. Both meetings centered around issues on hiring practices, organizational development and work life balance. One presenter who spoke about using the Strength Finders assessment tool as the foundation for reorganization, quoted someone from here at ZSR referring to Strengths Finders as a life changing good thing. Not sure who you were, but you did make an impression! I really enjoyed the discussions around diversity recruitment. One library representative shared their practice of having applicants answer a question around how they as individuals would contribute to diversity on that campus. I really liked the concept behind this and think I would like to form a similar styled question for use during my interview with potential new hires. I’m not so sure I buy the written statement approach, but I do plan to follow up with the presenter to get more insight into this practice.

In a session that puts together Diversity Counselors and others, the topic of cultural competence and retention arose. It was this session that re-energized my desire to have a Diverse Librarian in residence here at ZSR. You may remember that Lynn submitted a funding proposal for this concept via the appropriate campus channels a few years back. Though unsuccessful, Lynn has continued in her fight to diversify library staffing with implementation of programs such as the “Sutton Rule.” Perhaps now would be a good time to consider resubmitting since we will have “Friend” in the Provost office who just might be in a position to advocate for us.

I was introduced to what appears to be a spectacular 2014 class of ARL Leadership and Career Development Program participants. Graduates showcased details of their individual projects during the poster sharing session. A few of the topics I noted were, the role of the digital humanities librarian, use of multimedia in reference and instruction, social sciences librarian attitudes on data research, community engagement and scholarship, reference and instruction for international students and how to support Latino librarians. You can meet the entire class here. ARL LCDP 2013-14.

This conference was full of meaningful conversations around personnel related issues. It was a most worthwhile trip. Let me know if you’d like to hear more.

4 Responses to “Wanda @ ALA 2014”

  1. Wanda, I recently assisted with a WFU interview where the question “How would you contribute to diversity on campus?” was asked, and it is a great question to ask candidates! It shows a commitment to diversity by the organization and encourages individuals to think about their personal role in fostering diversity on campus! Thanks for adding this to our process!

  2. A diversity librarian residency would be most welcome! I hope those up the chain will see its value and fund it!

  3. Glad to see that BCALA plans to leverage the situation in Florida to highlight and educate!

  4. Thanks for sharing Wanda. Good to know info.


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