I thought MLA this year was one of the best I have attended for a very long time. The diversity issue is very popular right now and I was glad to see the sessions on it.
I attended the session “Engaging With the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests as a Librarian/Archivist”. As we are very close to the Sioux Reservation, I was really interested in this. Mark Holman described the situation from his view as the College Librarian. Amazing all the challenges this small college faced with the number of people that arrived in the area wanting computer access, needing to charge their electronic devices, not to even mention all the media people! He tried to preserve a record of this important moment in history for them to have. Lots of discussion on what role the librarian plays in times of upheaval or significant change. I think we could have kept right on this discussion for hours!
Another session I felt was really informative was “Privilege: Calling In, Calling Out, and Promoting Conversation”. Discussion on “calling out” – an individual’s behavior is oppressive or uninformed. When it is appropriate, then “calling in” or addressing these behaviors more privately as individuals is a more effective way to approach. There are drawbacks to both which we were shown. We¬†looked at case studies to identify and to engage with others on topics on racism, sexism, and ableism in and out of library settings. The session’s purpose was to help us in promoting social justice for everyone in our communities. Another fabulous discussion group.
SAMMIE thank you for another scholarship to go to a great conference. I don’t know where we would be as library staff getting continuing education funding like this if it weren’t for you. You are so much appreciated for funding these Scholarships! Thank you again!