held it's Diversity Drive-in workshop at the Parkland College in Champaign. There were over 65 system consultants and library staff in attendance.
Speakers included Vandella Brown from the Illinois State Library, Tracie hall from the ALA's Office of Diversity and Satia Orange from ALA's Office of Outreach.
Vandella overviewed the diversity programs available at the state library and also had us take the diversity eye exam which really makes you think about how open you are to things like having a female president or who would you rather your direct supervisor be: a white female or an asian male? A very interesting test.
Tracie had the longest of the presentations. She is a very inspiring speaker and really made you think about how populations are changing, especially in the United States and what libraries should be doing to reach out to these new population segments.
Some interesting facts:
-Illinois is always one of the top six "Gateway States" that people are most likely to migrate into from other countries.
-Less than 32% of high school graduates are ready for college upon graduation (That is Scary)
-Today the average college student graduates in six years, some are forecasting it could be as long as eight years in the future (for undergrad studies!)
Tracie also hit on some very, very library 2.0 topics. Topics that need to be discussed and topics I think that fit in with much of the library 2.0 talk that is not technology related.
My favorite: Libraries need to get rid of the "no-first" attitude. Libraries need to stop saying no as their first answer! Want to test your library? Keep a log of how many times your staff tell a patron "no". I would love to see data from libraries on how much they say no.
She discussed libraries breaking down barriers and not putting up walls for their community. Consider multilingual services and also make sure to market them to those parts of your community that could use them.
Tracie also talked about libraries as the third place and what we have to learn from places like Border's and Barnes & Noble.
Some of Tracie's best advice:
"If you don't like people, don't work in the library!"
Satia came in and wrapped things up. She added some more thought to some of Tracie's comments as well as sharing some stories about diversity.
Unfortunately I need to leave early, so I will miss out on the afternoon. But overall this was a great program to attend. To all the Illinois libraries, expect to see a lot of diversity information coming from the systems in 2006!
I took a few photos which you can find in the LCLS flickr account
Smile Kathryn & Judy!