National Dialogue on the Curriculum of Readiness for the 21 st Century Librarian

ALA Annual Conference - Chicago, Illinois - Tuesday June 28, 2005


Plenary Session II: Diversity and Equity in LIS Recruitment, Education, and Readiness

Jose Aponte:  We're going to bring up the next panel. Yellow ‑ which is issue to consider. Red. This has got to stop in education. And the green: opportunities.

We'd like to bring up our next panel, Clara.

Clara Chu:  Right. So let's bring up our next panel. It's going to be moderated by W. Michael Havener who's been a longtime torchbearer in diversity issues and a leader in the education field.

W. Michael Havener:  I'm just thrilled with this next panel if we can get people through. One thing that I might mention is you may have noticed at the first panel and it's going to happen at this panel and the next one is because we are moving with only twelve minutes per person again it's going to be squeezing so much into this day.

One of the decisions that were made is that we are not going to spend time talking about the accomplishments of each of the people on each of the panels. Instead there's a very... If you have someone you're not familiar with, and many of these people you know very, very well, we have very brief descriptions of everyone who's speaking today as part of the program so look there.

They're going to spend their time talking about the message they want to share rather than about who they are. It's the message we all care about.

This second plenary session panel as you know is on diversity and equity in LIS recruitment, education, and readiness.

Many of you may be aware that as always we have many things going on simultaneously at this conference. One of the things going on simultaneously right now is a session of ALA council, and one of the items they'll be acting on today if they have not already is the draft strategic plan for ALA.

And as I was looking at this draft strategic plan it struck me again that we have on here the same five key action areas that have been approved annually since 1997 and I'm sure will be again. If you don't know, I'm not going to go through all five but the reason I really noticed it is the number one action area listed is diversity.

The number two action area listed is equity of access.

The number three area listed is education and continuous learning. It sounds like it has something to do with what we're talking about today and this panel in specific is dealing with diversity and equity. And you notice that is going in three very broad areas: recruitment, education, and readiness.

It strikes me very often when I'm talking to people, and I may be aware of this because we had Michael Gorman as a major speaker at my LIS program recently, is there are both real and perceived discrepancies between library education and library practice.

There are also real or perceived disconnects between what's going on in library practice and what the needs of the communities or individuals we're serving are. So I'm looking forward to hearing all five of our panelists give us their ideas what we can do to make diversity and equity realities in this variety of.

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