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Special Interest Group Meeting Notes: EDI SIG 7/13/2023

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


Agenda: Question: Is EDI still a term that serves our needs?
(if needed - Southeastern definitions:

Anything else you would like to talk about?

In the three years since George Floyd’s death, what does equity, diversity, and inclusion mean to you? Has it changed since 2020? 
If you no longer think the term serves our needs, what's a better term?
(Nyack’s group changed their name to “Social Justice Committee”)
It doesn’t include those living with disabilities or does it?: see article - 
What next? Are we burnt out? - 
Privilege Layer Cake questions and activities from Dr. Bright’s page: 

  • EDI sounds like "a thing that you must do" whereas social justice is more like a verb - an action plan. You can say EDI, DEI, but what are you actually doing?
  • The term has been weaponized like the term "woke," so what will you do if people target you for it?
  • People will find a way to disparage things on social media no matter what you do.
  • EDI has been associated with things that are just about race, instead of the main point: which is everyone is included. If you change your terms but don't change your mission, then you're still on the right track.
  • One academic librarian is dealing with the other various changes in the organization, so there is no dedicated EDI work at the library level, although there is some bigger action over the entire school to make things feel more inclusive. But it's not something where you can find a statement. 
  • Should all libraries have a committee in place? Yes, and we could use the Southeastern EDI Committee as a template for that work. Systems could provide the resources and have them available to libraries: for instance - translators, money to post job postings to attract diverse librarians, compiling a list of publications in different languages, getting more diverse boards
  • A committee could look at the demographics of your service area and make sure that your service matches the population or help people do audits of their collections and programs

EDI is a good name for us for now - it's got recognition and still has the right kind of meaning. 

What can we do to get more people?

  • talk with directors to make the case
  • hold the meeting on site
  • do direct outreach to people who might be interested
  • what are you going to leave the meeting with?

The EDI Committee could:

  • review the EDI guide on a regular basis
  • create a project for each meeting that is a take-away. (an index, a map, a key that would show where to find inclusive materials in the library)
  • strategize how to get materials that you are missing that would promote diversity.




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Phone: (845) 883-9065