The period of December 8th through the 16th represents one of the busiest times in my 17 month Wake Forest career. During that span I attended three of our member organization meetings, held three ZSR donor events, and meet with our architects. I’m looking forward to the holiday break!

The first of these meetings was the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), held in Durham on Dec. 8th and 9th. I have to admit this is my favorite meeting to attend — I look forward to the opportunity to meet with other directors and discuss common challenges. This meeting was the 60th anniversary of ASERL (Wake is a founding member) and for the first time we included our directors of special collections as part of the meeting. The focus of the meeting was the role of academic libraries and special collections in advancing social justice issues. Ronald Wheeler, President of the American Association of Law Libraries, was our keynote speaker on this topic. Wheeler’s focus was diversity and inclusion as social justice. He offered a broad definition of diversity — political opinion, viewpoint, economics, etc., in addition to sex, gender, and race.  Wheeler said our role as librarians is to help people find joy — great joy in diversity and life-long learning. He also talked about the importance of  offering internships to minority students; internships are key as minority candidates often lack internships that non-minority candidates can obtain. 

After keynote, the deans and directors discussed three topics in break-out session. The items were:

  1. Library Diversity Alliance

http://www.ala.org/acrl/diversityalliance

I participated in this group and we wondered if an ASERL led program would work better than participating in the ACRL program.

2. Racial Equity Institute

https://www.racialequityinstitute.org/

The program is based in Greensboro and several attendees have participated in their program

3. Ithaka Salary survey group

There was a discussion about whether we want to do an ASERL version of this survey.

After the Thursday meeting was a reception at the newly renovated Rubenstein Library at Duke. I missed the reception for our donor events in Raleigh (both were well attended).

The focus of the meeting on Friday was digital preservation with Katherine Skinner from Educopia and Chip German from the Academic Preservation Trust presenting. Several concerns were raised, such as who is collecting online news? Also the ability to get funding for digital preservation was discussed. We also talked about consortial approaches like MetaArchive and things we can do locally like LOCKSS. There was a deeper discussion about this topic at the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) that will cover in my next blog.

After the meeting I toured the new spaces at Duke to get furniture ideas for our renovation.