ULC Webinar: Continuing the Conversation: Race and Social Equity in Public Libraries

 ULC Webinar: Continuing the Conversation: Race and Social Equity in Public Libraries
October 27, 2016

Item Number: UW2016-08
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After building the curriculum Civil Rights in a Civil Society, Nashville Public Library caught the attention of local Metro Police Leaders and partnered to create Police and Librarians, Working on Civil Society. NPL Director Kent Oliver and Special Collections Division Manager Andrea Blackman discuss the impetus for the program, as well as the associated activities and outreach. Participants also learn how library leaders teach local police recruits about Nashville’s Civil Rights legacy and foster conversations about how history may impact their work today. Using NPL’s Civil Rights Room and Collection as an educational backdrop, library staff reference oral histories, photos and more to provide context and facilitate discussions about complex community dynamics.

Understanding that racial inequities are difficult to see and address in predominantly white organizations, the Saint Paul Public Library, winner of the 2016 Top Innovator for Race and Social Equity, advanced its strategies and created a racial equity assessment tool and staff training to address institutional and structural racism. As part of a citywide initiative, SPPL has been a leader in changing practices that may unintentionally discriminate in hiring, promotion, and services. During the webinar, Library Director Jane Eastwood will discuss the first steps taken towards improvement, how these steps and tools impacted the staff and bolstered new training, and what they have done to refresh and change the community's culture and the old way of thinking.