Title: Antiracism in Libraries: Allyship Starts with You
Date: Wednesday, October 27th, 1-4 pm
The Antiracist movement garnered renewed vigor with the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, more people began to see a glimpse of what life is like for many Black Americans. This course aims to provide attendees with foundational knowledge about antiracism and increased capacity for examining their work through an antiracism lens. Being antiracist is not about who you are; it’s about what you do. Unpacking what it means to be an antiracist information professional is a personal journey, anchored by critical self-reflection on the impact of racist systems and structures at home, work, and local communities. These systems are pervasive but are often invisible to those who have had the privilege of not experiencing the damaging effects of white supremacy. This three-hour course is a call to action for information professionals who are committed to taking action towards becoming anti-racist.
At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:
- Define racism, power, privilege, oppression, and white supremacy, implicit bias, and microaggressions.
- Describe why racism continues to exist in libraries.
- Articulate how racist systems in libraries impact BIPOC and other marginalized library workers and library users.
- Cite examples of racists systems in libraries:
- The role of implicit bias and microaggressions
- How it affects hiring and retention practices
- Describe what it means to be Antiracist:
- Describe the difference between being an advocate, ally, or accomplice
- Begin the process of personal and professional self-reflection towards becoming a better advocate, ally, accomplice, and eventually, antiracist.
Kelsa Bartley is the Education and Outreach Librarian in the Learning, Research & Clinical Information Services Department at the Louis Calder Memorial Library, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Kelsa holds a MS in Information degree from Florida State University. She is a member of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Dean’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and the University of Miami Libraries DEIA Committee. Kelsa is active in the Medical Library Association (MLA), serving as 2020-2021 Chair of the African American Medical Librarians Alliance Caucus (AAMLA) and currently serves on MLA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and JMLA’s Equity Work Group. Her research interests include diversity, equity and inclusion in libraries, library marketing, outreach and social media, technology for health information promotion, and library instruction and instructional design.
Shannon Jones (she/her/hers) is the Director of Libraries for the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Shannon is also Director, Region 2 of the Network of the National Library of Medicine headquartered at MUSC. Prior to her arrival at MUSC, Shannon worked as the Associate Director for Research and Education for Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Shannon focuses her research on staff recruitment and retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion in libraries, and leadership in academic health sciences libraries. Shannon is the co-editor of Diversity and Inclusion in Libraries: A Call to Action and Strategies for Success. She holds an MLS from North Carolina Central University and an M.Ed. in Adult Learning from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D in Educational Leadership at Charleston Southern University.
Jamia Williams earned her Bachelor of Science in History from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport and earned her Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University. Jamia is a Health Sciences Librarian at SUNY Brockport’s Drake Memorial Library. She serves as the liaison to the following academic programs, African & African-American Studies, Biology, Health Science/Healthcare Studies, Public Health, Health Education, McNair Program, and Nursing. Williams is the co-creator and co-host of the podcast LibVoices, which amplifies the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who work in archives and libraries.