Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Library User Experience

Introduction

The Orbis Cascade Alliance Discovery & User Experience team is excited to announce a speaker event series funded by the 2021 John F. Helmer Professional Development Award. The events are free to all Alliance members (registration required).

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Speaker Series is focused on the intersection between DEI issues and Libraries, Discovery, and User Experience. The events are coordinated by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series Program Group. Find the Zoom registration link for each event below.

Events

What’s So Critical About Critical Librarianship?

Emily Drabinski
Emily Drabinski

Speaker: Emily Drabinski, City University of New York

Date: March 30, 2021 1 pm – 2 pm

Recording: What’s So Critical About Critical Librarianship? (Video, 57:47)

Materials:

Abstract: Library work structures intellectual worlds as library workers collect, organize, make accessible, and preserve materials for use. This work is not neutral. Libraries, like all institutions, are produced in and through systems marked by racism, patriarchy, and capitalist modes of production. Critical librarianship offers a framework for thinking about our work that asks how library structures came to be and what ideologies underpin them. Viewing librarianship through this frame allows us to imagine new and better worlds on our way to making them.

Bio: Emily Drabinski is Interim Chief Librarian at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the reviews editor of College & Research Libraries and edits Gender & Sexuality in Information Studies, a book series from Library Juice Press.

Building a University that Deserves Indigenous Students: A Participatory Design Approach

Scott W. H. Young
Scott W. H. Young
Connie Brownotter
Connie Brownotter

Speakers: Scott W. H. Young & Connie Brownotter, Montana State University

Date: April 29, 2021 11 am – 12 pm

Recording: Building a University that Deserves Indigenous Students: A Participatory Design Approach (Video, 44:28)

Materials:

Abstract: “How do we build a university that deserves Indigenous people?” This prompt from Indigenous scholar Dr. Eve Tuck provides a frame for our presentation. Participatory Design offers one potential path for answering this question. Participatory Design is a socially-active, politically-conscious, values-driven approach to co-creation that seeks to give voice to those who have been traditionally unheard. A group of faculty and Native American students at Montana State University created an Indigenous Participatory Design Toolkit that provides a practical approach for collaboration among Native and Non-Native stakeholders that centers Indigenous worldviews. Through Indigenous Participatory Design, Native students are empowered as self-determining storytellers to co-create products and services in higher education. The Indigenous Participatory Design Toolkit can be adapted and reused to better serve and empower Native students. Attendees will learn the tools and techniques of Participatory Design for supporting Indigenous students in higher education.

Bios:

Scott W.H. Young

Scott W. H. Young is a librarian, researcher, and educator at Montana State University in Bozeman, the traditional hunting grounds of the Apsaalooké (Crow), Niitsítapi (Blackfeet), and many other Indigenous nations. His work focuses on service design, assessment, participation, and ethics. A couple of recent highlights include facilitating a multi-day service design workshop and co-creating participatory library assessments with undergraduate students. He is a co-editor at Weave: Journal of Library User Experience, and holds an MA in Archives and Public History from New York University and an MS in Library and Information Science from Long Island University.

Connie Brownotter

My name is Connie Brownotter. I am Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and I am also Diné. I am of the Bitter Water People Clan (Tódích’íi’nii) born for the Hunkpapa Lakota. The Towering House People (Kinyaa’áanii) are my maternal grandfather’s clan and the Hunkpapa Lakota are my paternal grandfather’s people. I am a Senior at Montana State University majoring in Human Development and Family Science and minoring in Native American Studies. I am also a buffalo rancher, a peer mentor, a social media influencer, and an advocate for indigenous rights. I am dedicated to serving the indigenous student population at Montana State University as well as positively representing my community through my various leadership roles and responsibilities both on and off campus. I am dedicated to advocating for tribal food sovereignty, cultural and language revitalization, and community-based research conducted with indigenous peoples. I utilize my social media platform to raise awareness of current issues, encourage authentic cultural representation, and display my various traditional creative pursuits. I enjoy encouraging indigenous youth to embrace their identities and traditions with honor and humility. I currently work as a Student Mentor with the Indigenous Mentorship Initiative at Montana State University. I was crowned the 2018-2019 Miss Indian Montana State University, served as the Treasurer and Social Chair of the American Indian Council at MSU, and was a member of the College of Health and Human Development Honors Society, Phi Upsilon Omicron. I am a Gates Millennium Scholar, a McNair Scholar, a recipient of the Presidential Emerging Scholars Award, a recipient of the Harriet Cushman Award, and a member of the Montana State University Honors College. I have presented at the Standing Rock Youth Wellness Conference, the Montana GEAR UP Conference, the St. Stephens Indian School Youth Leadership Conference, the Native American Student Advocacy Institute Conference, as well as countless events across the Montana State University campus. I am proud to have this opportunity to represent myself, my family, my clans and my tribe.

Partnering with Black Students to Learn About Their Library and Campus Experiences

Emily Daly
Emily Daly

Speaker: Emily Daly, Duke University

Date: May 27, 2021 12 pm – 1 pm

Recording:

Materials:

Abstract: Research indicates that students from underrepresented or marginalized groups experience particular challenges in a university setting. A team of Duke University Libraries staff interested in understanding the Black student experience conducted an environmental scan to learn about existing campus services for this population. We recruited Black graduate students to moderate Photovoice sessions and discussion groups with Black undergraduate and graduate students. The team analyzed discussion group transcripts as well as Black students’ responses to the Libraries’ biennial user survey and developed recommendations for improvements based on findings. This mixed methods study revealed challenges Black students face and provided context for their experiences. Findings were shared with campus stakeholders and others interested in improving services for Black students. This presentation describes the research team’s methodology and ways library staff are using study findings to improve library services and access for Black students at Duke University.

Bio: Emily Daly is Head of Assessment & User Experience at Duke University Libraries in Durham, NC. She coordinates Duke Libraries’ Assessment Team and plans and conducts user research related to the Libraries’ website, services, collections, and spaces. Emily also co-leads the Libraries’ Digital Preservation and Publishing Program and helps coordinate the Libraries’ web interfaces teams. Prior to working at Duke, Emily taught high school English and then served as the teen librarian at Natrona County Public Library in Casper, Wyoming, and the librarian in Durham’s Southern High School. She received a BA in English/secondary education from N.C. State and an MS in library science from UNC-Chapel Hill. Outside of work, Emily can be found trying new cookie recipes, watching birds, participating in online yoga and exercise classes, and hanging out with her family, including their pandemic kitten Oskar.

The Culture of Fit: White Supremacy Through Policy

Sojourna Cunningham
Sojourna Cunningham

Speaker: Sojourna Cunningham

Date: July 29, 2021 12 pm – 1 pm

Recording:

Materials:

  • Powerpoint slides (PDF)
  • Cunningham, Sojourna, Samantha Guss, and Jennifer Stout. “Challenging the ‘Good Fit’ Narrative: Creating Inclusive Recruitment Practices in Academic Libraries.” In Recasting the Narrative: The Proceedings of the ACRL 2019 Conference, April 10–13, 2019, Cleveland, Ohio, edited by Dawn M. Mueller, 12-21. Cleveland, Ohio: ACRL, 2019. Available at https://scholarship.richmond.edu/university-libraries-publications/42/

Abstract: As a profession, we talk the talk of valuing diversity and inclusion, but we often lack the will to deeply interrogate our hiring practices and the norms of our culture. The profession often stresses the importance of “a good fit” when hiring, but we rarely interrogate the fact that “a good fit” can be a reflection of our implicit biases and that our very hiring practices continue to center and prioritize whiteness. This session will report on the findings of a study on hiring in libraries and recommend the implementation of specific practices designed to create an inclusive candidate pool and an equitable search process.

Bio: Sojourna Cunningham is the Social Sciences and Assessment Librarian at the University of Richmond. She works as the liaison to her campus’ Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Education departments. Sojourna was an ALA Emerging Leader and is a graduate of the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarianship. She has an MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MLA from the University of Richmond. Her research interests are in user services, assessment, DEI policy and mentorship. Her work focuses on the ways in which white supremacy culture influences librarianship and how to create meaningful change through policy.

The Power and Promise of UX to Foster Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Jessica Rios
Jessica Rios
Enrique Dias
Enrique Diaz

Speakers: Jessica Rios & Enrique Diaz

Date: September 29, 2021 1 pm – 2 pm

Recording:

Materials:

Abstract: As UX practitioners, we are often the “voice of the user” when it comes to digital products and services that fit within our job descriptions.  The same skills that make us great UX advocates in the library are applicable to other situations across the institution.  Particularly, these skills can and should be leveraged in advancing DEI work, because the results elevate agency and empowerment across the board, among staff and users alike. In this session, we will highlight examples of using UX work to support both end-users and employee experience.

Bios:

Jessica Rios

Jess Rios is the Service Design and Assessment Librarian at the Harvard Law School Library where she works with department managers to assess and improve services, programs, and digital products. She can also be found in various committees and working groups across the university encouraging colleagues to identify their assumptions, get curious, and do user research. Jess is currently the Co-chair of the Harvard Library Research, Teaching, and Learning Standing Committee and is working on an inaugural Advancing Open Knowledge grant project with Christine Fernsebner Eslao to discover issues related to Facilitating Author Self-Identification for Discovery and Inclusive Knowledge Production.

Enrique Diaz

Enrique Diaz is the creative director and development lead for Harvard Library, overseeing the design process for all new Harvard Library digital products and implementing design changes on existing products to align with its digital brand. He also manages the ongoing development of Harvard Library’s design system, a collection of coherently-organized reusable elements guided by clear standards and structures, to customize and refine public user interfaces for commercial, open source, and locally-developed web applications used by the Library. Enrique aligns his efforts with the Library’s user experience and digital accessibility priorities so that students and researchers of every kind can access Harvard’s rich collections through systems that are creatively designed, intuitive to use, and endlessly helpful.

Trans and Gender Diverse Description Issues in Libraries

Speaker: Kalani Adolpho

Date: RESCHEDULED November 3, 2021, 12-1pm Register below to get a link for the presentation.

Register: DEI Speaker Series – November 3 Zoom Meeting Registration

Abstract: What does respectful and inclusive description for transgender and gender diverse materials and content creators look like? This session will begin with basic trans and gender diversity training which will include explanations of current and outdated terminology, common forms of violence encountered in library settings (deadnaming, misgendering, outing, and common microaggressions), how to respond when you make mistakes, and information around pronouns. The purpose of this segment is to ensure attendees will have enough background information to understand and engage with the rest of the presentation. During the second segment, the presenter will discuss issues around description for trans and gender diverse materials, subjects, and creators.

Bio: Kalani Adolpho (they/them) is the Processing Archivist for Manuscripts and Archives Management at University of Miami Libraries. They are responsible for processing archival collections for the Libraries’ Distinctive Collections (Cuban Heritage Collection, Special Collections, and University Archives), as well as branch libraries. While they were a Diversity Resident Librarian at UW-Madison, Kalani helped form their Critical Cataloging Interest Group. At University of Miami, Kalani is a member of the Metadata Remediation Interest Group. They are also a co-editor of the forthcoming Library Juice Press volume Trans and Gender Diverse Voices in LIS. Their research interests include trans and gender diverse issues in libraries, Indigenous librarianship, diversity residencies, critical cataloging and reparative description, and social justice.