The 2022 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) took place in Tampa, Florida. Although the conference ran from February 8 through February 12, I attended the first 3 full days.
The first session I attended ran from 8:30am to 3:30pm, and focused on the role of outreach initiatives to promote equitable, diverse, and inclusive patron services. The session touched upon social, historical, and institutional challenges libraries face in the area of outreach and engagement, as well as approaches and initiatives to reach out and engage underserved communities. A particularly important item addressed in this session included discussions on how to navigate political/hierarchical environments to implement and sustain library initiatives to serve underserved populations.
The conference keynote speaker was writer and entrepreneur Rachel Cargle, who discussed current challenges librarians are facing, particularly in the area of morale, censorship, and career path. The discussion also touched upon the role librarians play in advocating for intellectual freedom.
The next session I attended, Beyond Performative: Experiences of an Action-focused DEIA Committee, discussed the development of a DEIA Committee at the University of San Diego in response to the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, which focused on advocating for equity in the area of resource allocation, policy implementation, benefits, and professional development opportunities amongst members of the USD Libraries. The following session, titled How Do New Leaders Advance DEI Strategies at Their New Organizations? Case Studies of Four new Deans and University Librarians, was a panel of 4 newly hired library deans who discussed how they approached DEI challenges they faced when they started their tenure. One of the most interesting aspects of this session explored the different methodologies these deans implemented to assess the current state of DEI initiatives at their libraries.
The last session I attended, Individual Papers & Presentations (Leadership, Management, and Organizational Development), included 2 presentations: Repositioning Power and Privilege in the Library: Centering Underrepresented Colleagues at Work, which explored mechanisms to amplify the voices of underrepresented population in the workforce; and The Perception of How Using Collegiality in Promotion and Tenure Evaluation Impacts BIPOC Librarians, which describe an assessment initiative to determine how white and non-white librarians view the use of “Collegiality” as a criteria for performance review.
During the conference, I also had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and work with my colleagues from the ASERL DEI Committee. We held 3 meetings to discuss the current state of the ASERL DEI Committee; its progress, challenges, and opportunities. We drafted recommendations that were later submitted to the ASERL Deans Group for consideration.