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Special Interest Group Meeting Notes: EDI SIG 2/29/2024

Notes from the most recent meetings of special interest groups at Southeastern

Leap Day

The SIG was held on Thursday, Februrary 29 online via Zoom. Tracy Dunstan and Morgan Strand of the Nyack Public Library facilitated it.


Stressed the importance of this meeting: Hearing from colleagues getting insights and looking at things in new ways – valuable meetings.
A LibGuide offering resources central to EDI: 
Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library Racial and Gender Equity LibGuide:

Morgan started a video – inclusive advertising is the theme today. This video offered an entertaining look at serious hiring issues.
Video Discussion:
Not about ads, but workplace & hiring. Jobs hiring to fill diverse positions, the mention of pay difference.
Is that actually happening? It seems like entertainment. Making light of a serious situation. 
Examples from the videos include: Her hair’s really curlier; TACO Tuesdays, girl straightened her hair – she is not as white as she really is.
Jobs – do judge on how people look- look at applications and make judgments; ageism - things that are not fair – pay difference is a fact among women vs. men; often reason is to fill a quota; Good video to pick apart a lot of issues and layers. Opens important discussions.
Next discussion: 
Advertising – and what those posts look like, the verbiage used and writing them in a way that makes all people feel comfortable to apply. example – hiring statement in ad that mentions we welcome a diverse pool and are looking for people who have worked in diverse settings.
the dangers of AI – filters out – bias comes through. Book notes: The Equality Machine – Orly Lobel
Have the hiring committee be diverse as well. 
Chat notes: I have also noticed "Required" vs "Preferred" qualifications both being listed -- listing out the bare minimum of what is being sought-
Not every job in the Library is the Librarian. There are other roles in libraries. 
When you add the layers of confusion with civil service, it is really tough!
Next: look at the Ads provided for today’s discussion:
1.    People running a marathon on a track:
a.    Continuing Education: the two leaders are white men; black man is last and the woman is behind, but in front of the black guy. She is in heels; 
b.    Success in Education: Blacks are behind
c.    Even though the woman and Black man are struggling, the white men are winning.
2.    Pops Sweet Crispy Crunch Cereal:
a.    The only brown corn pop doing the cleaning; It’s a racist depiction.
3.    Swimming Pool Safety:
a.    Cool and not cool: darker people are not cool

Guiding Questions:
1.    How does this help you when creating promotions for your library?
2.    What does the process look like?
•    One member shared: makes all the flyers for the ads; using pictures to represent diverse groups; uses animal rather than children or people.
•    Teen flyers can focus on what the programs are about.
•    Trying to be inclusive and representative, using animals would work well.
•    The image itself does matter; Trying too hard shows as well.

AI article discussion: With AI wanted to create more diverse images; the Google example switched stereotypes, the right-wing got hold of it and called it the WOKE – mixing up historical pictures – showed Thomas Jefferson as a black man for example. It was a good try to solve a problem that exists in large data sets, but it erupted a bigger problem that shined a light on racial bias and problems with AI presenting itself as intelligent. 
Other Topics to share:
•    RCLS: created an EDI statement – put out in job postings; more general outward statement.
•    Self-Advocacy Association of NYS (SANYS) has some resources along those lines. And I found Safezone training helpful (
•    CGCC – book discussion – common read in Fall semester: A Woman is No Man – Etaf Rum, and this semester: Red at the Bone – Jacqeline Woodson – making time for crucial conversations
•    Books- have people come and talk about books they have read

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065