Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What's Next? Strengthening Our Communities Ahead of the Incoming Administration


I'll admit it. I've been lax about some things in the time since I became a library director. In my defense, the list of things I needed to do when I first started was intimidatingly long and I focused on things that were major conflagrations - opting to leave the fire hazards in place because there's only so much time in a day and only so much energy in a person. But now those fire hazards, those small sparks, need attention since the incoming administration seems to want to pour gasoline over all of us.

Here are a few things I've been meaning to do that will be at the top of my list, along with some things I've been doing all along but that will get even more attention.

  1. Privacy Audit. I've been meaning to do this for years now. I printed out and read a bunch of materials, such as this checklist from ALA, but there was always something that got in the way of execution. No more. This will be at the top of my priority list.
  2. Disaster Preparedness, Including Active Shooter Response Training. I made some progress on this project, but again things got in the way. I need to make this a priority, so I will probably invoke liability to get people's attention. I found Library As Safe Haven helpful when I did have a chance to do this work, and will pull it back out now that I'm making it a priority.
  3. Inclusive Collection Development, Programs, and Outreach. I've talked before on this blog about how we will do displays about and for disadvantaged groups, but we make a point of doing it beyond the typical time frame. For example, we had a display on protest culture and civil rights activists, yes, but not in February. Also, I'm planning to spend a good chunk of our collection development budget on beefing up our resources for and by underrepresented voices.
  4. Safe Space Building. I went through Safe Space training recently, and the facilitators talked about how it's possible to have your entire building or department be designated a Safe Space. It means everyone who works in the building has to go through the training, so it's going to be a reach, but I want to try. If any building on this campus should be a Safe Space, it's the library.
  5. Adding Language to Our Mission/Vision/Values Statements. Our goal of being inclusive (which does not mean neutral... you all know that, right?) is woven throughout our guiding documents, but it isn't stated anywhere explicitly. It needs to be.

So that's what I know I can do. What I think we should all do. But I know there is more, so please comment with what you're doing and what we call can do.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Sharing on FB, and will probably blog about on my blog.
    Thank you!