Let’s talk about diversity: Taiga, November 7, Austin TX

Thanks to all of you who voted on the 2 proposals for our next Taiga Forum. Now that the votes are all in, we have decided to go with the Diversity in Academic Libraries topic for a few reasons:

  • Although the voting was extremely close, the Diversity topic won with 67 votes to 63 for the topic on Technical Project Management.
  • We don’t want to compete with the Project Managers Group event happening on the same day – especially because when we do tackle the topic of Technical Project Management (and we will), we are definitely going to want to include our awesome colleagues from PMG in our program.
  • We have a lead on a potential guest speaker from the Ausin area who has significant expertise on the topic, and who I am very excited about. Once s/he has confirmed, I’ll share details and you will be equally excited. For now, just trust me  that you are not going to want to miss this.

Registration for DLF and Taiga is open now. Reminder that this event is OPEN to ALL — you do not need to be a Taiga member or even an AUL/AD type to attend.

While we are still working out the details of the program, and are definitely open to your suggestions, we do promise that our program will include:

  • A focus on more than just the demographic diversity of our staff and the profession.
  • A discussion of how to maintain diversity in our collections in a constrained budget environment.
  • An honest examination of the organizational culture differences between different parts of our organizations (e.g. library technology and traditional library operations), including discussion of how to navigate and defuse potential culture clashes.
  • An examination of the issue of “Silencing“, including advice for leaders on how to avoid silencing others and how to encourage and empower a diverse range of voices and ideas within the profession.

As a group of leaders in academic libraries, Taiga is committed to leveraging and promoting diversity in our libraries — in staffing, in resources and collections, and in ideas. We hope that this program will provide participants with concrete ideas that can be used to further the value of diversity in our individual libraries and in the profession.

Please let us know your ideas on how to make our program interesting, useful, and maybe even provocative (in a good way).

AUL for Public Services, Stanford University Libraries

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About “Gentle Disturbances”

The title of our new blog, “Gentle Disturbances”, is a tribute and a reference to the husband and wife artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art consists of vast, temporary outdoor installations, such as the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, the 24-mile Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City's Central Park. Christo has asserted that their art creates “gentle disturbances," designed to challenge traditional perceptions of the spaces and landscapes they inhabit. By encouraging viewers to see familiar landscapes in new ways, their art disrupts assumptions about permanence, ownership, and categorization.

While we claim none of the artistic or political impact of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, we hope that this blog and its many contributors will challenge us all to look at the landscape of academic libraries and higher education in new ways. We aspire to “gentle disturbances” of the kind that will lead to productive conversations and creative approaches to our common challenges.