Symposiums

ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) curated this list for conference attendees who may be interested in sessions targeting equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). The sessions are grouped by session type with definitions to guide attendees through the selections. Please note that this information was curated by ODLOS specifically, there may be some flexibility in each session’s categorization and/or level of understanding. 
 

Definitions of Levels of Understanding

Introductory Level: These sessions are geared toward attendees who have no prior or little experience with equity, diversity, or inclusion topics. Attendees who have limited knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion are encouraged to attend these sessions. 

Intermediate Level: These sessions are appropriate for attendees who have attended a few webinars or workshops surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion and would like to learn more. These sessions start analyzing how the library profession can decenter power.

Advanced Level: These sessions are appropriate for those who are experienced with nuanced concepts of social justice, power and privilege, identity, equity, and inclusion.  Attendees who are facilitators and leaders in areas of equity, diversity, and inclusion and those looking to deepen their knowledge are encouraged to attend.
 

Symposiums: The Symposium on the Future of Libraries features sessions exploring the near-term trends already inspiring innovation in libraries and the longer-term trends that will help us adapt to the needs of our communities.


Symposiums
 

Plenary Session - Libraries Transform: Civic Innovation
Link: https://2020.alamidwinter.org/symposium-schedule
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Join Philadelphia-based civic innovators for the morning's plenary session exploring what’s next for communities.
 

Disrupting Tech While Being Pro-Tech
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664700
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 25, 2020 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

As more libraries take on social justice concerns, pro-technology library workers have the responsibility of vetting and implementing meaningful tools that both meet patron needs and privacy. The goal of this discussion is for library workers to think critically how we might take a more measured approach to reviewing and integrating technology into library services. Participants will be encouraged to think beyond the glitz and glam of new toys and consider how innovation can work in favor of community goals and library ethics. BIPOC, paraprofessionals, students, recent grads, and those with reservations about technology are highly encouraged to attend.
 

Cross-Campus Partnerships to Help Students Fund Their College Education
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664723
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

For the past three decades, the cost of a college education has been creeping upward at public and private institutions alike. This crisis in college affordability is the collective responsibility of all campus departments to address and attempt to resolve, including libraries. Academic librarians can play an important role in participating in collaborative outreach initiatives to help students both save money and secure additional college funding. Key campus collaborators can include student success departments, academic departments, information technology, and academic affairs. Partnerships can include open educational resources (particularly free textbooks), workshops and resources focused on helping students apply for scholarships, promoting and teaching open access resources, and financial literacy sessions taught by librarians. In this session attendees will learn about programming led by librarians to help students defray the increasing costs associated with obtaining a college education.
 

Partners in Place: Community Space Sharing for Tomorrow’s Workforce
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664711
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Falling unemployment rates mean less WIOA funding for career centers. Reducing their physical footprints offers big savings, but as businesses’ need for skilled workers continues to grow, the workforce development system struggles to meet this demand, with fewer resources. Libraries in rural communities provide welcoming physical spaces for career advisers to meet and interact with an untapped labor pool: patrons accessing the gig economy, teleworking, skill-building through online learning, and earning industry-recognized credentials and certifications. Program panelists describe library space-sharing successes that match Labor, workforce boards, and patrons; meeting the needs of all and stimulating rural economies without “mission creep.”
 

The Library, Not Just for Books: Connecting Library, Maker, and Social Emotional Learning
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664710
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

The Library, Not Just for Books, welcomes participants to explore the role the Library can play in the running of a Makerspace and how to infuse Social Emotional Learning. This interactive workshop will explore the "Why" behind the integrated approach by taking a look at some of the ways skills are built when Information Literacy, maker informed practices, and Social Emotional Learning are infused within activities/lessons and the philosophy of the Library.
 

Making Real Change: Moving Beyond the Interpersonal to Create Actual Diverse, Inclusive and Equitable Environments for Both Library Users and Employees
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664715
Level of Understanding: Advanced Level
January 25, 2020 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Anti-oppressive practices (AOP) grapple with power inequities that uphold structural forces like racism and sexism. Librarianship has primarily focused on individual expressions of AOP. However, AOP must include institutional and ideological change, which can be more challenging. This session will discuss AOP framework, explore examples of AOP in libraries, and give participants tools for starting larger conversations at their own institutions. Participants will discuss what their institution is doing that focuses on the individual, and explore how theories of organizational change can be used towards institutional AOP.
 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Action: Creating Customer Journeys to Generate Equitable Communities. How to use Asset Framing to Design Experiences for Social Impact
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664707
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 25, 2020 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Librarians have an opportunity to model best practices in equitable customer experience with every touchpoint. Defining communities in general terms such as “at-risk” often perpetuates systematic racism and biases that we are working to break down. A vanguard of leaders are reframing the language and approach, by defining people by their aspirations and contributions before noting their challenges. This approach, called “Asset Framing” makes it much clearer to understand the systemic causes behind their struggles. In this workshop, participants will create customer journeys using the Asset Framing “Framework” to learn how to apply these principles in their daily work.
 

Young Changemakers in 21st Century Libraries
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664714
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 25, 2020 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

In January 2019, the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Democratic Knowledge Project (DKP) at Harvard University assembled a cohort of librarians from ten Massachusetts schools and public libraries to design professional development resources for implementing DKP’s Ten Questions for Young Changemakers—a framework for civic learning that seeks to help youth develop into successful (i.e. equitable, effective, and self-protective) civic agents in this digital age. Learn about the training materials and learning modules produced by the public librarians in this cohort, and hear suggestions for building cultures of civic engagement with teens in the public library setting.
 

Navigating Queer Realities in School Libraries
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664709
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 26, 2020 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

This session considers the roles of school librarians in supporting emerging interest and legislation recognizing the varied contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and groups. It explores effective practices in terms of collection development, instruction, online resources, programs, exhibits, and events; and offers suggestions to overcome challenges and strengthen future approaches. The analysis is based on a literature review surveying LGBTQ inclusive materials and curricula. Implications are of particular interest to school librarians and others involved in augmenting understanding of the roles and contributions of LGBTQ people.
 

Framing the Design of Future Public Libraries
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664694
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 26, 2020 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

This dynamic workshop session will address critical and leading topics in the design of public libraries that contribute to the vitality of communities. Working together we will craft design viewpoints that can be applied to the conceptualization of new libraries, remodels, and strategic plans. We start by acknowledging the library as a fundamental and evolving aspect of social infrastructure along with the role of librarians and libraries. Focus topics include: addressing differing learning styles, response to vulnerable populations, diversity, inclusion, collection curation, technology, staff spaces, resiliency, function and operations, creativity and innovation.
 

Data and Diversity: Navigating the Ethics of Demographic Data in Inclusive Community Collections
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664692
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 26, 2020 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Librarians building local collections want to represent the diversity of their communities. When we use information about people's identities to assess a collection's inclusivity, how do we protect people's privacy and respect their autonomy? We'll discuss how we addressed these questions for local digital music collections at public libraries in Seattle and beyond. We'll share best practices we created, how we developed those practices, and how we continue to adapt them. We present our work with community data as a template for engaging with the complex and evolving issues facing librarians in an era of rapid technological and societal change.
 

Libraries at the Nexus of Migration
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664704
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 26, 2020 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Libraries and librarians will be increasingly in the center of shifting migration patterns and policies. Looking to this near future, we will highlight projects at public, governmental, and academic libraries that provide information access and services to migrant and detained migrant populations and how librarians have confronted the social impact of migration and detention on local communities through library services. Speakers will discuss innovative partnerships and outreach programs that ultimately serve the physical and mental health and well-being of migrant and detained migrant populations, and inspire other librarians in the borderlands and beyond to develop similar programs at their libraries.
 

An Intentional Future: Libraries and Organizational Culture
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664690
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 26, 2020 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The personnel budget for libraries is a top-line expenditure. A library’s organizational culture is a significant factor in determining retention. In this discussion, we’ll look at the organizational culture of libraries, the interdependence between organizational units, and alignment to organization-wide goals. Organizational culture is developed through our direct involvement with others, which creates basic assumptions shared with new employees for the purpose of inclusion and exclusion. We’ll discuss relevant models that can help an organization inform and surface the elements of culture including socialization and behavior, which are two areas that particularly hinder libraries from becoming high functioning and inclusive.
 

Food Literacy for Families, Libraries and Communities: South Carolina Read Eat Grow
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664695
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 26, 2020 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Food and nutrition literacy have become important issues for communities, especially in light of the growth of “food deserts” and “food swamps” in low-income areas without access to fresh and nutritious food. Many libraries are introducing services to address food literacy and food insecurity, integrating traditional literacies and food literacy into collaborative learning experiences fostering personal and family health. This session will share examples of this type of service with a special focus on South Carolina’s  Read Eat Grow food literacy initiative, which includes activities to support food preparation, kitchen safety, recipe reading, and STEAM elements.
 

Toxic Stress, Early Brain Development, and What Libraries Can do to Support Young Children Experiencing Adverse Childhood Conditions
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664699
Level of Understanding: Intermediate Level
January 26, 2020 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
 

Using Implications Wheels to Explore the Consequences of Change
Link: https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/ALA-Midwinter/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=664719
Level of Understanding: Introductory Level
January 26, 2020 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Exploring future possibilities proactively can help libraries more equitably and effectively serve their communities in a rapidly changing landscape. This interactive workshop will introduce participants to implications wheels, an accessible method for exploring how changes on the horizon might affect libraries and communities. Together, we will explore the implications of a change that could have significant consequences for the future of learning and libraries, seeking to identify unexpected ripple effects of that central change. Participants will also receive guidance on using implications, wheels, and other future-thinking tools with their organizations that they can incorporate into their daily work and planning.