ACRL Washington logo with white font over green tree icons and blue horizontal lines.ACRL-Washington

A chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries

2019 ACRL Washington/Oregon Joint Conference Program

Thursday, October 24 & Friday, October 25, 2019

Pack Forest, Eatonville, WA


Interrupting Microaggressions with Dr. Ralina L. Joseph

Microaggressions are one of the dominant ways that racism is enacted in our society.  Ambiguous, insidious, and common, these everyday remarks or behaviors sometimes go undetected by the perpetrators and outside observers, while the target is left isolated in deciphering the situation and the ensuing confusion and hurt. This workshop asks participants to be ready to interrupt microaggressions as perpetrators, observers and targets. Participants must come willing to engage with difficult issues of discrimination and privilege in order to learn the tools that can disrupt cycles of discriminatory behavior. The workshop begins with an introduction to microaggressions and their impact; we then move into small group discussions. Participants will leave the workshop with tangible tools for interrupting microaggressions. 

About Dr. Ralina L. Joseph

Dr. Ralina L. Joseph is a scholar, teacher, and facilitator of race and communication. She is a professor of communication at the University of Washington and the founding director of the Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. Her current book, Postracial Resistance: Black Women, Media, and the Uses of Strategic Ambiguity, 2019 Winner of the International Communication Association’s Outstanding Book of the Year, examines how African American women fight racism and sexism in a world where we are often told that racism and sexism are relics of the past. During the 2019-20 academic year Ralina will be an ACLS/Mellon Scholars & Society Fellow in residence at the Northwest African American Museum, where she will be writing a new book, Interrupting Privilege: A Fieldguide.

Schedule At-a-Glance

Thursday, October 24th

TimeActivity (Location)
 12:00 - 1:00pm Check-in (Scott Hall)
 1:00 - 1:45pm

 Lunch (Dining Hall) - Menu: Taco/Fajita Bar

 1:45 - 2:00pm
 Announcements (Scott Hall)
 2:00 - 5:00pm Keynote with Dr. Ralina L. Joseph: "Interrupting Microaggressions"
 5:00 - 5:10pm Break
 5:10 - 6:00pm Session 1
 6:00 - 7:00pm Dinner (Dining Hall) - Menu: Pasta Bar
 7:00 - 8:00pm Chapter Membership Meetings: ACRL-Oregon (MacBride 102); ACRL-Washington (Scott Hall)
 8:00 - 10:00pm Social Time (Pack Hall)

Friday, October 25th

Time  Activity (Location)
 7:30 - 8:30am Breakfast (Dining Hall) - Menu: Veggie Frittata
 8:30 - 9:00am Overnight Guests: Pack Out & Return Keys
 9:00 - 9:10am Announcements (Scott Hall)
 9:10 - 10:10am Session 2 
 10:10 - 10:20am Break
 10:20 - 11:20am Session 3
 11:20 - 11:30am Break
 11:30am - 12:20pm Session 4
 12:30 - 1:00pm Closing Thoughts & Announcements (Scott Hall)
 1:00 - 2:00pm Lunch (Dining Hall) - Menu: Sandwich Bar - Eat your lunch in the dining hall or pack it up & take it to go. 

Session Descriptions

Thursday, October 24

Session 1  Scott Hall  MacBride 102  On Your Own 
 5:10 - 6:00pm  Lightning Talks  Networking & Unfacilitated Discussion  Self-Reflection & Self-Care

Lightning Talks (Scott Hall)

  1. Reflection in Instruction and Outreach towards Students of Color at Oregon State University
  2. Enhancing Awareness of Racial Bias in Search Engines through First-Year Information Literacy Instruction
  3. Dismantling Racism in Library Data
  4. Racial Imposter Syndrome

Reflection in Instruction and Outreach towards Students of Color at Oregon State University

  • Bridgette Garcia, Diversity Scholar, Oregon State University

In this short talk, I will share two examples of library outreach and programming that center on students of color, as well as my experiences as a library employee and current MLIS student of color developing and offering these activities. The first example is my library resources workshop and resource fair participation as part of Oregon State University’s Mi Familia day, an outreach program designed for Spanish speaking families and high school students to engage with OSU’s resources and services. The second example is my Skills for Living in the U.S. workshop as part of INTO OSU’s summer workshop series for incoming international students. The OSU Libraries’ relationship with both of these programs began with white librarians. I will discuss the importance of an academic library having librarians of color who conduct outreach and instruction and the impact that such efforts have on a library’s overall approachability and community.

Enhancing Awareness of Racial Bias in Search Engines through First-Year Information Literacy Instruction

  • Myra Waddell, Business & Computer Science/Research & Instruction Librarian, UW Bothell & Cascadia College Campus Library
  • Sarah Schroeder, Business & Economics/Research & Instruction Librarian, UW Bothell & Cascadia College Campus Library
  • Caitlan Maxwell, Teaching & Learning Librarian, Western Washington University

As part of an introductory information literacy assignment at a community college, first year students engage in a "Critical Internet Searching" module to examine how search engines and the information found on the internet perpetuates structures of oppression. Students learn about the search algorithms research of Professor Safiya Umoja Noble and consider authorship in crowd-sourced content like Wikipedia. With the goal for students to think about how damaging histories around race and gender manifest on the internet and in information systems, they reflect on these concepts in the context of their own research habits. By incorporating this content in first year curriculum, students develop early awareness of structured oppression in information systems and can then build on these ideas as they progress through their academic careers. This session will introduce the "Critical Internet Searching" Canvas modules. The designers will discuss the pedagogical decisions they made in consultation with disciplinary faculty.

Dismantling Racism in Library Data

  • Negeen Aghassibake, Data Visualization Library, University of Washington
Libraries collect, manage, and visualize data both passively and actively. Data run through all aspects of libraries, including systems, resources, spaces, collections, and advancement. As data and data visualization become increasingly important to libraries, it is important to think critically about how our data are collected and shared: Who is not represented? What is the impact of our data on our patrons and staff? How do our data oppress? How can we adopt antiracist data policies and use our data as social justice and advocacy tools? Library data and data visualizations are not immune from racism and it is crucial to answer these questions now.

Racial Imposter Syndrome: What do mixed and racially ambiguous people have to contribute to conversations about whiteness?

  • Jessica Jerrit, Business Librarian, University of Washington

While society pressures us to identify as a single race, the mixed race population in the United States is growing fast. 14% of babies born in 2015 were mixed race, which is triple the percentage born in 1980. Mixed race people have a wide variety of experiences depending on both their racial background, relationships with different family members, and physical appearance. How strongly we identify with our different backgrounds can also change throughout our lives depending on where we live or who we interact with. In this talk I will share my experiences as a racially ambiguous Chinese-white mixed American, and my struggle to understand what I bring to the table when race and whiteness are being discussed. How can you discuss race when you are both white and a person of color, and have experienced elements of both identities?

Networking & Unfacilitated Discussion (MacBride 102)

MacBride 102 is available for attendees looking to make connections or share a casual, unfacilitated discussion. This is your conference so we wanted to provide time for you to have conversations and reconnect. In the hour before dinner, please use this space (MacBride 102) for socializing instead of the dorms/cabins or Scott Hall.

Self-Reflection & Self-Care (On Your Own)

Use your time before dinner to do your own self-reflection and self-care, which could include journaling, a quick nap or quiet time in your dorm, or a walk. 

Friday, October 25

Time Scott Hall  MacBride 101 MacBride 102 
 9:10 - 10:10am  Yes, You Are Racist, Too  "I know exactly how many XXXX students are on this campus"  I, Too: Unmasking Emotional Labor (for Women of Color Librarians)
10:20 - 11:20am  Reacting to Racist Materials In Our Collections  Resisting White Nationalism  Unconference: Library Workers of Color
 11:30am - 12:20pm  Lightning Talks  Resisting White Nationalism  Unconference: Library Workers of Color

9:10am - 10:00am 

Yes, You Are Racist, Too: Experiencing Discomfort, Practicing Accountability (Scott Hall)

  • Megan Watson, Performing Arts Librarian, Reed College

If you are a white person, there is a good chance that you have done one or more of the following at work: tried to connect with a POC colleague by comparing their experience with your own seemingly similar one; declared that you were not one of those white people who voted for the current president; contended that you care deeply about diversity but also want to find the strongest candidate for the job. If confronted, perhaps you retreated, citing good intentions and progressive values before changing the subject. White people, Robin DiAngelo argues, lack the stamina to deal with difficult conversations around race and thus default to white fragility. This facilitated conversation is a space for white library workers to practice absorbing criticism and transcending defensiveness. Participants will engage in role-playing exercises and critical reflection designed to center discomfort and engage in accountability as a site of learning and empowerment.

"I know exactly how many XXXX students are on this campus" (MacBride 101)

  • Jonathan Cain, Head, Data Services and Librarian for Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon Libraries
  • Kelly McElroy, Outreach Librarian, Oregon State University
Tema Okun notes that white supremacy culture in organizations manifests in urgency, perfectionism, progress, and objectivity -- all familiar in assessment and data-driven environments in higher education. In this facilitated conversation, we will invite participants to consider questions including:
  • How and where do these tenets show up in data collection practices on our campuses?
  • How do libraries and library workers support or resist them?
  • How do we help users navigate these structures?
We believe that examining the data practices within our own communities can be a bridge to thinking critically about other areas of data literacy, offering a method of inquiry that can fit into broader instructional programs with all the learners and researchers we work with. By exploring these issues through discussion, we may end with more questions than answers, but participants will build community through shared reflection and have a model to begin conversations with their colleagues or learners.

I, Too: Unmasking Emotional Labor (for Women of Color Librarians) (MacBride 102)

  • Alyssa Jocson Porter, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Seattle Central College
  • Kimberly Tate-Malone, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Seattle Central College
  • Sharon Spence-Wilcox, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Seattle Central College

Have you experienced racism, sexism, and ageism in the classroom, at the reference desk, or in meetings? Women of color in libraries face unfair perceptions and expectations, and spend a significant amount of energy both pushing against those perceptions and fulfilling those expectations. How do we avoid burnout? How do we draw boundaries? How do we cope with high expectations from students, from colleagues, and from ourselves? Join us for a discussion of solutions such as individual self-care and collective efforts that can increase support and create time and space for wellness of librarians, staff, and students.

To support the centering of Women of Color voices, we invite those who do not identify as a Person of Color to select another session to attend.

*Read I, too: unmasking emotional labor for women of color community college librarians (2018) by Alyssa Jocson Porter, Sharon Spence-Wilcox, and Kimberly Tate-Malone, in Pushing the margins: women of color and intersectionality in LIS, edited by Rose L Chou and Annie Pho.

10:10am - 11:00am 

Reacting to Racist Materials in Our Collections (Scott Hall)

  • Hilary Robbeloth, Systems & Discovery Librarian, Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound
  • Adriana Flores, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, University of Puget Sound
  • Katy Curtis, Humanities Librarian, University of Puget Sound
  • Eli Gandour-Rood, Science Librarian, University of Puget Sound
  • Peggy Burge, Interim Associate Director, University of Puget Sound
This session provides a space for open dialogue around the issues of racist content present in our collections and the importance of building an inclusive environment by ensuring that library staff are prepared to respond appropriately and adequately. Presenters will provide a brief introduction to the session, to be followed by a scenario-based activity in which small groups engage with a range of issues, such as the impact of problematic materials in digital collections and on our shelves; the responsibility of organizations to respond to racism; how a commitment to anti-racist practice can inform and anticipate various user and employee needs; and the individual need for self-accountability when facing challenges. Whole group discussion will conclude the session. Attendees should be willing to actively participate.

Resisting White Nationalism (MacBride 101)

Note: This 2-hour workshop runs from 10:10am to 12:20pm

  • Althea Eannace Lazzaro, Research and Instruction Librarian, Seattle Central College
  • Dani Rowland, Research and Instruction Librarian, UW Bothell & Cascadia College Campus Library
  • Dave Ellenwood, Research and Instruction Librarian, Seattle Central College
  • Elaine Harger, Librarian, Washington Middle School

The rapid increase in white nationalist organizing across the country has taken special aim at libraries, revealing the inadequacy of deploying our professional values of openness, equity, and access without an analysis of power and how it affects our users and colleagues differently. A group of library workers from public and academic libraries across King County have been working on the issues we've been experiencing from white nationalist organizing‚ which range from closure of our libraries due to the fear of violence to being filmed and threatened with doxxing in library board meetings and library meeting rooms. In the first hour of our presentation, we will share our experiences and discuss the history and effects of white nationalist organizing on local libraries along with a framework for anti-racist resistance. In the second hour, we will work with scenarios to practice strategies of resistance in our local contexts.

Unconference: Library Workers of Color (MacBride 102)

Note: This 2-hour unconference runs from 10:10am to 12:20pm

  • Alyssa Jocson Porter, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Seattle Central College
  • Jessica Koshi-Lum, Instruction Librarian, Renton Technical College
  • Ann Matsushima Chiu, Electronic Services and Instruction Librarian, Warner Pacific University
Join other library workers of color from academic libraries for this open discussion of topics relevant to anti-racist practices, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion, the impact of whiteness on our field), etc. Participants will decide session content. Content could include, but is not limited to: navigating predominantly white institutions (PWIs), strategies for active engagement in anti-oppressive work in all parts of the library, recruitment/retention of library workers of color, and strategies for self-empowerment/resiliency/self-care.

This session is open for folks who identify as people of color and/or Indigenous.

11:10am - 12:20pm 

Lightning Talks (Scott Hall)

  1. Taking Responsibility for Racism in the Stacks - And Beyond
  2. Empowering All Researchers: Lessons from the Education Field
  3. Renovation Dismantled: Multicultural Perspectives of a Science Library's Physical Space

Taking Responsibility for Racism in the Stacks - And Beyond

  • Ekaterini Papadopoulou, Director of Library Services, Bastyr University

When students noticed the racism in a historic text used in class, they came to the library to address this issue. The students chose to raise their concerns with the library – not with the professor, the department, or the program. This points to the unique position of the library to serve as a less threatening, but authoritative presence on campus that can help drive the interrogation of racist information structures. We take this responsibility seriously. We are now using the position of the library in existing campus structures to take this conversation beyond the collection. So, how can the library support and drive honest interrogation of racism in and beyond the stacks?

Empowering All Researchers: Lessons from the Education Field

  • Christy McDaniel, MLIS Candidate, University of Washington, Class of 2020

It can be difficult to navigate situations when a student repeatedly asks for help or avoids engaging in the learning process. Librarians may feel frustration, but this may be an implicit bias of already marginalized students. Negative feelings can be counteracted by reframing our perception; for example, from “needy” to “self-advocating.” By building teacher-learner relationships, we can have satisfying interactions and become a part of students' educational journeys. This talk will offer tips from the theoretical foundations and practical realities of education as they can apply to academic reference situations.

Renovation Dismantled: Multicultural Perspectives of a Science Library's Physical Space

  • Chelsea Leachman, Engineering and Science Librarian, Washington State University
  • Libby McKeighen, Access Services Paraprofessional, Washington State University

When renovating library spaces, which stakeholders should be consulted during the process to ensure a space supports and promotes inclusion of multicultural students? This is the same question that the Engineering & Science Librarian and Access Services Paraprofessional asked during the designing phase of the Owen Science Library first floor renovation. With 30% of Washington State University student body identifying as multicultural students, their perception of the libraries physical space is important to the libraries when designing a space. Addressing the need for a better understanding on multicultural student vision for the science libraries physical space, the librarian and staff member interviewed students and staff in five student centers located in the Office of Multicultural Student Services and the staff of the Office of Equity and Diversity. Feedback gathered from interviews was disseminated to the library administration and university interior designer.

Resisting White Nationalism (MacBride 101)

Note: This 2-hour workshop runs from 10:10am to 12:20pm

Continued, see description above.

Library Workers of Color Unconference (MacBride 102)

Note: This 2-hour unconference runs from 10:10am to 12:20pm

Continued, see description above.

ACRL Washington would like to thank the University of Washington Libraries for financially supporting this conference through partial Keynote Sponsorship.

© Washington State Chapter of Association of College & Research Libraries
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