Oregon Library Association Quarterly 2020-07-07T18:29:01+00:00 Open Journal Systems <p>Oregon Library Association (OLA) publishes OLA Quarterly (OLAQ) four times a year.</p> Volume 25 Issue 2 Table of Contents 2020-07-07T18:28:53+00:00 Oregon Library Association 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 OLA Volume 25 Issue 2 Introduction | From the Guest Editor 2020-07-07T18:29:01+00:00 Elaine G Hirsch <p>Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are at the center of our work in libraries. A cornerstone of democracy, libraries provide free and open access to services and resources for everyone in our local communities. This year EDI is a specific area of focus for the Oregon Library Association (OLA), and related initiatives include this issue of OLA Quarterly (OLAQ), the development of an EDI Plan for the association, and setting Equity, Diversity, Inclusion as the annual conference theme to provide a concentrated opportunity for OLA members to engage in related conversations. Together OLA is exploring EDI in its many connotations and intersections, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical and mental abilities, body size, religious beliefs, political ideologies, and geography.</p> <p>This issue shares the important work that a wide variety of libraries are doing to help create equitable and inclusive communities in Oregon. It includes contributions from public, academic, and school libraries, and authors include staff, librarians, administrators, and graduate students in library and information science.</p> 2019-10-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Hirsch Find Ways to Say Yes: How we Made our Library More Inclusive Through Removing Barriers to Membership 2020-07-07T18:28:46+00:00 Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney <p>Creating policies that are equitable and inclusive can often mean an iterative process of incremental changes that slowly evolve the culture of an organization. One example of this is the way that Driftwood Public Library, a medium-sized coastal library in Lincoln City, changed its library card policies to better serve members of the community experiencing homelessness or without a fixed address.</p> <p>In 2013, Driftwood Public Library (DPL) began an initiative to look at our policies and procedures with fresh eyes, and modify those policies that were presenting significant barriers to individuals who wished to use the library. Library card policies quickly rose to the top. At the time, the library required official photo ID and proof of address to obtain a card, as well as the contact information for a third party who did not live with the applicant. The proof of address requirement was very stringent, requiring a lease or utility bill in the person’s name. It presented a great deal of difficulty for individuals who had recently moved to the city or who did not have any accounts in their own name. A scenario that library staff encountered more than once concerned adult children who had returned to Lincoln City to care for an ailing family member. Because they did not own or lease property in the area, were in town for an extended visit with an uncertain endpoint, and were usually staying with the family member, proving residency was a surprisingly difficult hurdle.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Brodbeck-Kenney Read me a Story! 2020-07-07T18:28:38+00:00 Jennifer Croft <p>Read me a Story! is an early literacy program partnership between the Coos County Library Service District’s Extended Services Office (ESO) and the Shutter Creek Correctional Institute. The aim is to reach at-risk children and their caregivers in an unconventional way by building on existing relationships to encourage a love of reading. This gives the child their best opportunity for future educational success, and the prisoner an invaluable opportunity to be a positive influence in a child’s life.</p> <p>Read me a Story! helps spread childhood literacy to our society’s most vulnerable at-risk population: the children of convicted, incarcerated felons. Our goal is to encourage a love of reading that will place them on a path leading toward future educational and economic success, and we do it by building on the preexisting close relationships between children and their incarcerated loved ones. Effectively, finding a silver lining in a difficult situation.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Croft Notes From an Equity Fellow: Casual Diversity and ALA Conferences Spark Enthusiasm 2020-07-07T18:28:30+00:00 Ayn R Frazee <p>I’m a school librarian, and I love connecting students with books they get excited about reading—we’ve all had that thrilling moment of handing a patron a book and seeing their eyes light up with recognition and enthusiasm. There’s nothing better! Connecting readers with books that resonate is our goal and our joy. A recently awarded fellowship opened the doors to new conference experiences for me, deepening my understanding of the many diverse and authentic voices in children’s literature while also highlighting the places where there is room for growth.</p> <p>I became aware of the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) Equity Fellowship through an Oregon Association of School Libraries listserv post last fall. ALSC is a division of ALA, the American Library Association. The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Task Force within ALSC was seeking ethnically and racially diverse library professionals who demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in their personal or professional life, a capacity for leadership, and are providing direct services to children. In my application essay, I wrote about my work seeking out and selecting books for my school library collection, as well as my experience as a Mexican-American school librarian. I received a phone call later in the fall from a member of the task force letting me know that I had been selected as one of only six ALSC Equity Fellows in the country for 2019–2020. The news was exhilarating, and I was thrilled to learn that the fellowship includes membership for two years in ALA and financial support to attend the 2019 ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle and the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. In addition, the EDI Task Force connected me with a mentor from ASLC who can help me get more involved in the organization and navigate the complex conference schedules.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Frazee Writing African American History Into Wikipedia 2020-07-07T18:28:23+00:00 Laurie M. Bridges Diana Park Tiah K. Edmunson-Morton <p>As the world’s largest information database, Wikipedia is a familiar resource for many people. Given the ubiquity of Wikipedia articles on various topics, it has become a first stop for conducting online searches. However, there is a gap of information within Wikipedia related to African American history, and addressing Wikipedia’s well-documented racial bias should be a priority for librarians and archivists (“Racial bias on Wikipedia,” 2019). In February of 2019, Oregon State University Libraries and Press hosted a Wikipedia Editathon, “Writing African American History into Wikipedia.”</p> <p>In the early fall of 2018, we began planning for the Wikipedia Editathon. Two librarians and one archivist, the authors of this article, formed a small team to decide on workflows and individual roles. The team initially discussed various ideas for an editathon theme, but quickly settled on African American history in the Pacific Northwest, which could be incorporated into OSU’s annual African American History Month activities in February. In addition, we all felt that Pacific Northwest African American history is not well known, even among residents of the Pacific Northwest, and so we focused on local history. None of the team members identify as African American, which made the first step, establishing partnerships, vitally important.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Bridges & Edmunson-Morton Figuring Out Where to Start, and How: One Library’s DEI Strategies 2020-07-07T18:28:15+00:00 Crystal Garcia Adrienne Doman Calkins <p>Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can fall into the category of big, deep thoughts. It can seem daunting to improve DEI at an institutional level. How do we go from abstract, and even overwhelming ideas, to tangible goals and objectives with timelines, budgets and workflows? At Sherwood Public Library, nestled in the southern end of Portland Metro and Washington County, we implemented specific DEI objectives in our strategic plan and in the Edge Assessment. With a staff of 11 FTE serving a community of 22,000 people, we found ways to make the right-sized goals that would stretch our collective and individual comfort zones, and still fit within our capacity for staff time and funds.</p> <p>Sherwood’s demographics and diversity are changing, but not as fast as the rest of our region. In a city where 9 out of every 10 people are white and nearly everyone speaks English, we wanted to incorporate DEI objectives into our library as a way to open windows into other backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives--just as much as we wanted to provide mirrors for the diverse members of our own community. A DEI lens helped revitalize our library, increase usage, and improve relevance in profound ways--strengthening our collection development, programs and events, the facility, services, technology, staff and board development, and hiring practices.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Garcia & Calkins Exploring Multiple Identities in Children’s Literature With Project LIT 2020-07-07T18:28:08+00:00 Andee Zomerman <p>Only in the last 20 years have we seen seeds of intersectional identities planted in children’s/ young adult literature. Even in this shift, the majority of authors writing books with diverse characters are white. In 2017, 31 percent of published Kidlit contained diverse characters, yet only 7 percent published were written by Black, Latinx, and Native authors combined (Jalissa, 2018).</p> <p>I work in the Beaverton School District. Forty-eight percent of our students are white, which means students of color are the majority. Yet, 87 percent of our teachers are white (Oregon Department of Education, 2018). The staff/student ethnicity ratio is problematic for most of our students needing “mirrors” in their learning environment. Until this balances out in districts around Oregon, literature can serve these students in reflective ways, as well as providing windows to peer into each others’ lives and cultures.</p> <p>As a librarian, it is imperative for me to display books in which every student at our middle school can see their reflections. In those same reads, different students will gain empathy for others. Which book will impact which student may not be easy to predict. Ensuring the library is stocked with encouraging stories emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion is under my control. How else can I provide mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors to our learning community? I found a way using the Project LIT model.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Zomerman Stitching Service Gaps Through Innovative Programming 2020-07-07T18:28:00+00:00 Suad Mohamed Lisa M Taylor <p>The Sewing Project was a pilot program to offer Somali language sewing classes at Multnomah County Library (MCL). It was funded for one year through an internal innovation grant, Curiosity Kick! This article describes some of the challenges and lessons learned from this project, focusing on issues that are relevant to serving immigrant communities and reducing barriers to equitable library services.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Mohamed & Taylor Micro Actions Support Culture of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in an Academic Library 2020-07-07T18:27:52+00:00 Lily Hawley Jennifer K Wells <p>As student workers at the Oregon Health &amp; Science University (OHSU) Library, we wanted to better understand the role of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in an academic library. In conversations with staff, both in person and through emailed questions and responses, we have found that personal values are a driving force behind many smaller, continuous staff actions in promoting EDI throughout different departments.</p> <p>Across libraries and larger institutions, EDI values are often built into larger strategic visions. However, guidance for the practical implementation of these values may be less specific, leaving staff to make their own decisions on how to achieve these larger institutional goals. Diversity and inclusion are top values at OHSU.... However, there are no clear policies or guidelines for how to do this. For example, within the library’s collection development policy, there is no mention of EDI (Oregon Health &amp; Science University Library, 2018). This does not mean, however, that there is not a culture of EDI at OHSU Library.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Hawley & Wells Yes, but … One Librarian’s Thoughts About Doing It Right 2020-07-07T18:27:45+00:00 Heather McNeil <p>Here’s the thing. All the conference programs, blogs, and conversations about diversity and inclusion have given me increased awareness and caused me to pause and reflect and question. I’ve cringed at practices of mine in the past, and delighted in the increasing abundance of beautiful books that feature people of color. I’ve learned a lot and have had more than one tough conversation with staff.</p> <p>Yes, but … I’ve also seen and heard opinions in the library world that potentially create more barriers. I’ve perceived attitudes that seem to shut down dialogue with, “I’m right, you’re wrong. I understand, but you just don’t get it.”</p> <p>This was not an easy article to write. I have struggled, rewritten, asked others to review, and rewritten again. But, as I prepare to retire after 40 years in the library profession, and after seeing many trends and issues ebb and flow, I offer my personal thoughts on diversity in the literary world that I, and perhaps others as well, have struggled with as a library professional.</p> 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 McNeil Volume 25 Issue 2 Back Matter 2020-07-07T18:27:37+00:00 Oregon Library Association 2019-10-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 OLA