|The Summer Meeting program is planned by a creative and hard-working committee of Alliance member staff. Chair Josie Ragolia (Pacific University) tells us more about what goes into their work.
1. Tell us about what you do at Pacific. I’m the Student Success Librarian at Pacific University – I currently oversee our university’s peer-tutoring center that’s housed in the libraries, and am the head of our Access Services department. In the very near future, my role is shifting a bit and I’ll be focusing more on library instruction and outreach along with continuing my work with our peer-tutoring center.
2. What made you volunteer to chair the Summer Meeting Program Committee? What’s involved in leading the committee? Being a member of the Alliance’s new Equity Exploratory Committee this year was a great introduction to working within the Alliance, and I was excited to chair the Summer Meeting Program Committee as an extension of that work. As someone who hadn’t attended past Summer Meetings because the content didn’t always apply to my work, I was interested in working to create programming that engaged all member libraries’ staff, not just those who work in specific areas. I’m also relatively new to the Alliance, so it was a great opportunity to get more involved and work with folks from other libraries, and to learn a lot more about the work of the consortium.
3. Who should attend the Summer Meeting? What will they get out of it? Everyone! As we’ve mentioned, this year’s meeting is quite different from those in the past. We have programming that applies to nearly every area of library work, and many sessions that focus on big picture organizational questions and issues. We’re lucky to have an outstanding group of external speakers offering their expertise and perspective from outside of the Alliance, which will really enrich the experience. I anticipate that attendees will leave the Summer Meeting with some great ideas for things they can do at their own institutions, as well as ways they can get more involved with all of the EDI work that the Alliance is doing. I hope that attendees feel a sense of connection from a shared understanding and engagement around some of the core EDI issues in our field. Most of all, rather than functioning as a discrete, one-time discussion, I hope that the Summer Meeting acts as a springboard, prompting attendees to continue the conversation and to think creatively about how we can actively integrate EDI into all of our work, collectively and individually.
4. The meeting theme is Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. How did the theme influence your committee’s work and decision-making? Were there issues or ideas that were particularly inspiring or challenging? The theme of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) for the meeting really shaped all of our committee discussions and decision-making. Our committee had many conversations about various EDI topics and their intersections with our work and, not surprisingly, we were overwhelmed by the number of topics we wanted to include in the Summer Meeting. Our biggest challenge was paring things down into a program that (hopefully) feels comprehensive without being overwhelming. In addition to seeking out programming related to our theme, our planning committee really framed all of our work through an EDI lens, paying close attention to questions about representation, access, and impact (among many others!) as we went through the process of developing the program.
5. Any other thoughts to share, or anything you wish I’d asked?
I’m just really excited about the program we were able to develop! I hope that every Alliance member can find at least one session they’re enthusiastic about attending, and that attendees come away with a new sense of direction and inspiration for EDI work, as individuals, institutions, and as a collective consortial work force.
Thanks to all of our program committee members! Josie Ragolia, Chair (Pacific University), Margaret Alexander (University of Oregon), Shelley Carr (University of Idaho), Hannah Crummé (Lewis & Clark College), Mary Grenci (University of Oregon), and Robert Perret (University of Idaho)