Monday, July 19, 2010

Love and Happiness at NDLC 2010

The National Diversity in Libraries Conference, held at Princeton last week, was the best conference I've ever attended.  Hands down. I was completely impressed.  I met not only amazing and great librarians, but inside of every great librarian, was a really wonderful person, too.  (I realize I'm gushing, but I really loved everybody I met!)   What I found so rewarding was the ability to really network with so many wonderful librarians that are at the forefront of advocating for and promoting diversity in their libraries on every level.  It was so encouraging to be around so many people that did not need for me to explain why I believe it's important to involve ourselves in initiatives to encourage ethnic minorities and those in the LGBT community and people with disabilities to enter the profession. And regardless of anyone's background it was a passion of every person there.  Like me, many people believe that our libraries and our profession depends on successfully executing means to foster positive diversity, in all of its myriad forms, in our institutions.  Aaaah love.

Here I am talking to one of the Princeton librarians that is also a cellist - like me, (what are the chances??), -during my poster presentation.
So, I got hip to some things at the conference. One Keynote Address was from Luke Visconti, CEO of DiversityInc.  Check it out.  Mr. Visconti was a dynamic and informative speaker that is doing great things at DiversityInc.  They create a list of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity every year, and they are quickly becoming a force with which to reckon. There should be no surprise that those companies that make the top 50 every year also tend to be more socially responsible and have larger annual gifts to charity and command the best talent. As the magazine points out, neither BP nor Goldman Sachs have ever made the list. They've only been doing this for 11 years but they've gone from 118 companies participating in 2003 to 449 participating in 2010.  I'm going to stay tuned to this.  I think it's wonderful.

Not only were the speakers great, but the Programs were amazing. One, among many, was the Speak Up! session from a group of Penn State librarians that implemented the program at their library. Speak Up! is from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the program is free.  In a nutshell, the program works by beginning discussions on how to speak out against ignorant, bigoted or any kind of conversation that goes against  fostering a positive diverse environment, by discoursing in a non-threatening manner, while supporting co-workers of all different backgrounds. It has gotten so popular there, that the University HR department is looking to implement the program campus-wide. It sounded very cool to me and I'd love to be a part of rolling this out in our library.  

There were so, so, many other great things and people that spoke, including incoming ALA president Roberta Stevenson that will be soliciting volunteers come the fall for a program to help encourage minority high school and undergrads to go into librarianship.  I'd really like to be a part of that and hope I, and a few other residents, can make the cut.  (hint, hint)

I also had my poster presentation, and that was a great experience. There was a lot of enthusiasm about my research and encouragement to publish.  Fingers crossed!

And, also, there is a place called The Bent Spoon, that had some wonderful, wonderful ice cream.  I had, Red Plum Lavender and Blueberry Lemon Basil.  So good!


  1. I agree Shannon. One of the best conferences I've been to.

  2. Do you maybe want to get involved with the recruiting effort? I think you might be good at it...

  3. Thanks for the mention about Speak Up, Shannon! We're glad you enjoyed it. It really was a great conference! :-)

  4. You are so welcome! I would really love to do that on our campus. I loved how non-threatening it is and the group problem solving must foster really great discussions and solutions. I really want to see it in action.

  5. That looks like a lovely poster session! I hope to goodness I can get mine done next month before it gets crazy for me fall semester.