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Tracings: Fall 1998/Spring 1999 Vol. 18 No. 1, 2

T R A C I N G S
A newsletter for alumni and friends of the
School of Library and Information Studies/The University of Oklahoma
Fall 1998/Spring 1999 Vol. 18 No. 1, 2

OU SLIS Alumni Association

MEMBERSHIP

The OU SLIS Alumni Association encourages all alumni and friends of the library school to join. The regular membership year is July 1-June 30 and dues are $10.00. Donations beyond the $10 are welcomed.

What does the SLIS Alumni Association do?

  • Produces and mails Tracings,, the semiannual newsletter.
  • Honors a former graduate annually with the Award of Merit (this award includes a donation to the Tomberlin Scholarship Fund)
  • Issues a call for papers and makes a $100 award to the winning student.
  • Sponsors a reunion/meeting at the Oklahoma Library Association Annual Conference.
  • Serves as a support group to the School of Library and Information Studies.
  • You are welcome to attend the quarterly meetings. It’s a fun way to get involved! The next meeting will be September 10, 1999 at 2:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

TOMBERLIN SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNER IS ANNOUNCED

Karen Cozart was presented the Irma Rayne Tomberlin Scholarship at the annual Beta Phi Mu Banquet in April. The award is presented annually to a student enrolled in the OU School of Library and Information Studies. To be nominated by a faculty member for the Irma Rayne Tomberlin Scholarship, students must hold distinguished rank in the school, have at least a 3.75 grade point average based on a 4.0 scale over the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, or a 3.75 grade average or better in the last twelve hours of graduate work. Also, applicants must exhibit strength of character, seriousness of purpose, leadership ability, and promise of future involvement in the library profession.

A native Texan, Karen has lived in Norman since 1982. She and her husband Charles have 2 children and one grandson. She graduated with distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 1996 with a degree in English/Women’s studies and was selected as the Women’s Studies outstanding graduating senior for 1996. She completed requirements for the MLIS/M.Ed. dual degree (instructional psychology and technology) in May 1999. While working on the Master’s program, Karen worked as a graduate assistant for Dr. June Lester, Director of the Library School.

Upon graduation from OU SLIS, Karen took a one-year temporary position with the Library School serving as the Editor/Coordinator for re-accreditation in 2000. She will also be teaching the undergraduate course in the Use of Library and Information Resources that she has taught for the past 1½ years. Additionally, she is working as an instructional designer on a State Regents for Higher Education quality initiative grant to provide faculty instructional technology training to faculty members at Oklahoma City Community College and Rose State College.

RECEPTION AT OLA

Alumni and friends of the Library School got together on Thursday, March 25 at the Annual Oklahoma Library Association Conference in Enid to visit with each other, renew acquaintances and enjoy refreshments. Vicki Sullivan, President of the Alumni Association, welcomed everyone and introduced officers for the coming year. She also encouraged all alumni to join the Association and discussed the benefits of doing so. This annual event is the perfect time to visit informally with those friends from library school you never get a chance to see any other time. If you could not work the reception into your schedule this year at Conference, plan on being there in 2000 in Tulsa at the Adams Mark Hotel.

BETA PHI MU

The Lambda Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, a honorary library organization, held its annual initiation and banquet at the University Club at the University of Oklahoma on Saturday, April 12, 1999. Attendees enjoyed hearing Dr. Ralph Doty, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma speak on "Blow-dried Bunnies and Acrobatic Professors: Modern Urban Legends." After Dr. Doty’s discussion of several modern legends, attendees began to think of legends in a slightly different way. They also enjoyed dinner, visiting with each other and participating in the initiation of 9 new members. They are: Audrey Defrank, Denise Walker, Woods Wheeler, Cokie Anderson, Linda Angie, Lori Bell, Jean Bielke-Rodenbiker, Jerrie Hall, and Philip H. Viles, Jr. Dr. June Lester presented Karen Cozart with the 1999 Irma R. Tomberlin Award. Vicki Sullivan, President of the OUSLIS Alumni Association, presented Robert L. Roddy with the Association’s 1999 Student Paper Award for his paper: "Multicultural Librarianship: Changing the World One Patron at a Time." The full-text of his paper appears later in this issue. 1998-99 officers were: President -- Mary Beth Webb Ozmun; Vice-President -- Jennifer Goodson; Past President -- Kathryn Roots Lewis; Secretary -- Cecilia Brown; Treasurer -- Tom Messner. The faculty sponsor is Dr. Rhonda Taylor. The 1999-2000 slate of officers is now available on the website at http://www-lib.ou.edu/depts/chem/betaphimu.htm. Ballots will be sent out in August, and the results will be announced later on the website.


ALUMNI NEWS

Jerri Hall has accepted a position with Tulsa City-County Library.

Karen Campbell has accepted a position as a law librarian with a law firm in Los Angeles.

Sonya Palmer ’98 has a new position as Assistant Medical Librarian at Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Address: 903 Maguire, #165, Noble, OK 73068.

Philenese Slaughter ’98 has been Serials Librarian at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee since July, 1998. She was recently elected to a two year term as the President of CALA, the Clarksville Area Library Association. CALA includes librarians from all fields and "many wonderful retired librarians." Address: 2421 Madison, #31, Clarksville, TN 37043-5462. E-mail: slaughter@apsu.edu.

Philip Viles, Jr. ’98 can be reached at P.O. Box 700414, Tulsa, OK 74170-0414.

Marla Roberson ’97 has been Medical Librarian at Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City since June, 1998. Previously, she had done interlibrary loan lending for the University of Oklahoma and reference work for OSU-OKC. Address: 1223 Dakota, Norman, OK 73069. E-mail: mkroberson@aol.com

Jim Teliha ’97 has a new position as Access Services Librarian at Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon. Address: 4152 Adelaide Ave., Apt. A., Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603.

Susan L. Webb ’97 has been Cataloging/Reference Librarian for Southeastern Oklahoma State University since January, 1998.

Karen Bays Blount ‘96 is Reference Librarian at Edmond Public Library and co-editor of the Oklahoma Librarian. Address: 4516 Valley View Lane, Edmond, OK 73034-9040. E-mail: bays_karen@mars.mls.lib.ok.us.

Glenda B. Lamb ’95 has been Library Director of the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County since 1996. Address: 1320 North Oakwood Rd., Enid, OK 73703. E-mail: glendal@enid.com.

Diane Thompson ’95 is finishing her second year as Library Media Specialist in a new library at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado. Address: 610 E. Kettle Ave., Littleton, CO 80122.

Susan Box ’90, Corporate Archivist and Curator of Special Properties at the American International Group in New York City, was the keynote speaker for the Society of Southwest Archivists Conference this Spring. She also served as President of ACA this year.

MaryGrace Berkowitz ’94 is a cataloger for the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma City. Address: P.O. Box 1437, Norman, OK 73070-1437.

Linda Barton ’93 is Library Media Specialist at Pioneer Intermediate School in Noble. Address: 3613 Burlington Drive, Norman, OK 73072.

Donna R. Hogan ’90 has a new position as Head of Electronic Information and Reference Services at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was formerly at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa as Reference Librarian. Address: 9318 Woodheather, San Antonio, TX 78250.

Elizabeth Romero ’90 is Branch Manager at Moore Public Library. Address: 633 Okmulgee, Norman, OK 73071. E-mail: eromero@pioneer.lib.ok.us.

Marion Edwards ’89 is with the Fort Worth Public Library as Branch Manager at the Riverside Branch and the BOLD Satellite library in the Butler Housing Project. Address: 2301 Shady Grove Dr., Bedford, TX 76021-4422. E-mail: medwards@pub-lib.ci.fort-worth.tx.us.

Linda Pye ’88, Acquisitions Librarian at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, participated in a panel discussion on "Demystifying Deselection" at the Annual OLA Conference in Enid in March, 1999. Address: 423 N. 6th, Weatherford, OK 73096. E-mail: pyel@swosu.edu.

Karen L. Litteral ’87 is Library Media Specialist at Putnam City Schools. Address: P.O. Box 1298, Bethany, Oklahoma 73008.

Dona Steffens Davidson ’86 resides at 8432 S. 34th W. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74132. E-mail: ddavids@osu-tulsa.okstate.edu.

Kathleen Ryan ’84 can be reached at P.O. Box 57626, Oklahoma City, OK 73157 or by e-mail at kryan@ilinkusc.com.

Jane Taylor ’84 is Reference Department Head at the University of Central Oklahoma. Address: 400 NW 54th St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118.

Beverly Geer ’80, Head Cataloger at Trinity University in San Antonio, has been Vice President/President/Past President of the North American Serials Interest Group since 1995. She is co-editor of Notes for Serials Cataloging, 2nd edition, published by Libraries Unlimited in 1998, Associate Editor of Serials Review, and co-editor of the "Serials Report Column" of the Serials Librarian. In 1998, she was promoted to Associate Professor and granted tenure at Trinity University. Address: 1048 Ivy Lane, San Antonio, TX 78209-6047.

Lynn Barker ’79 is Library Media Specialist at Kelley Elementary School, Moore Public Schools. Her school, including the library, was completely destroyed by the May 3rd tornado that "ripped" through Moore and other parts of the Oklahoma City area.  However, she says her new library will be "better than ever." Address: 1136 SW 131st, Oklahoma City, OK 73170.

Valerie Kimble ’77 has a new position as Director of Development at Mental Health Services of Oklahoma. Address: 700 Rosewood, Ardmore, OK 73401

Patricia Davis ’74 is Secondary Library Coordinator at Enid High School. Address: Route 1, Box 107, Ames, OK 73718. E-mail: ehsl@enid.org.

Vicki Sullivan ’74 is currently Administrator, Office of Government Information, Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Address: 200 NE 18th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. E-mail: vsullivan@oltn.odl.state.ok.us.

Barbara Lancaster ’73 received her Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University in 1998.

Polly Roberts Lackey ’72 is Director of the Learning Resources Center at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. Also, she completed a Doctorate in Higher Education at Texas Tech University in 1997.

Mary Beth Webb-Ozmun ’68 is Library Media Specialist at Union Public Schools in Tulsa. She served as the 1998-99 President of the Lambda Chapter of Beta Phi Mu. She also serves on the Sequoyah Children’s Book Award Reading Committee. Her son, Ashley, attends Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Address: 7398 E. 24th St., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74129.

Mary Elizabeth (Roberts) Webb ‘68, retired, resides at 7398 E. 24th St., Tulsa, Oklahoma 74129.

Dorothy A. Winbray ’67, retired, resides at 224 S. Lexington Way, Edmond, Oklahoma 73003.

Donna Denniston ’66 has been employed by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries in the Oklahoma Publications Clearinghouse since 1997. Address: 1134 NW 37th, Oklahoma City, OK 73118. E-mail: ddenniston@oltn.odl.state.ok.us

George M. Jenks ’59 is retired from Bucknell University. Addresss: 202 N. 2nd St., Lewisburg, PA 17837.

DEATHS

Jimmie Welch, Librarian at Chickasha Public Library since 1969, died on April 8, 1999 from complications from heart surgery. Her funeral was held on April 12 at First Baptist Church in Chickasha.


NEWS FROM THE LIBRARY SCHOOL…

The Library School’s newest faculty member is Dr. Ron Day.   Dr. Day has his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his MLIS from the University of California at Berkeley. Previous to his appointment at OU, he was a high school librarian in California for four years. His research interests are in the cultural and social aspects of libraries and information. Welcome to Oklahoma, Dr. Day!

  • In June, 1999, two faculty members, Dr. Lotsee Patterson and Dr. Wallace Koehler presented papers at the Sixth International Conference "Libraries and Associations in the Transient World: New Technologies & New Forms of Cooperation." The Conference was held in Sudaq, Republic of Crimea, Ukraine.
  • Dr. Rhonda Taylor was recently promoted to Associate Professor.
  • Dr. Wallace Koehler and Dr. Claire McInerney recently received junior faculty grants from the University of Oklahoma.
  • In the Fall 1999, the Library School will begin a new required course "Information Systems and Networks for Libraries, Archives & Museums."
  • Two OU SLIS students, Erika Ripley and Karla Shaffer received Gates Foundation grants to work with the Gates Project in Oklahoma.
  • OU SLIS students Erica Ripley and Kara Whately will be Co-Presidents of ALSO, the library school student organization, for the 1999-2000 year.
  • The Library School participated in a reunion for OU SLIS alums in June at the Annual Convention of the American Library Association which was held in New Orleans.
  • The Library School has a new secretary, Janie Allen, who began working in February, 1999.
  • Handsome new bookcases have been installed for the Festival of Books Collection, and computers in the lab have been upgraded.
  • The Library School is extending classes to a new site, Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Enid, for the Fall 1999.

 

FESTIVAL OF BOOKS

The Mildred Laughlin Festival of Books will be held Saturday, October 30, 1999 at the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Avenue. Featured writers will be Joanne Ryder, Rosemary Wells, & Laurence Yep. For more information, e-mail Kathy Latrobe at klatrobe@ou.edu or call her at 405-325-3921 at the Library School.


ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Alumni Association Executive Board for 1999-2000 are:

  • Vicki Sullivan -
  • President
  • Yvonne Hinchee -
  • Past-President
  • Glenda Lamb
  • - Vice-President/President-Elect
  • Pat Zachary
  • - Secretary
  • David Corbly
  • - Treasurer
  • Dana Belcher
  • - Member-at-Large
  • Sybil Connolly
  • - Member-at-Large
  • Dona Davidson
  • - Member-at-Large
  • Jennifer Greenstreet
  • - Member-at-Large
  • Linda Pye
  • - Tracings Editor
  • Richard Cheek
  • - Tracings Layout
  • Laura Carter
  • - Student Representative

WINNING STUDENT PAPER

Multicultural Librarianship: Changing the World One Patron at a Time
by Robert Roddy
Abstract

Census estimates reflect that by the year 2050 today's dominant culture, non-Hispanic whites, will represent only 53 percent of the U.S. population. Change often brings fear which, in some instances, cultivates violence. Libraries are uniquely positioned to provide leadership and perspective throughout this historic event due to high levels of public trust. This trust, however, has been bestowed by a predominantly white culture. As library staffs and schools of library science are overwhelmingly populated by whites, it comes as no surprise that people of color repeatedly view the profession with suspicion. Aggressive internal assessment combined with inclusive professional recruitment and collection development are fundamental to library leadership. Diverse staffing and collections will affirm the significance of all perspectives and will serve to preserve public trust within a rapidly changing world.

Historic change has begun. America is rapidly evolving and will soon become what Ben Waffenberg has described as the first universal nation in human history (Friedman and Pollack 16). Having accounted for 74 percent of the total population in 1995, census estimates reveal that non-Hispanic whites will be poised for inclusion into minority status midway through the next century. These same estimates project that by the year 2050 whites will represent only 53 percent of the U.S. population. During this period, the number of American Indians and African Americans will roughly double in size. Hispanics and Asian Americans, however, will see their numbers increase at an amazing pace which will eventually exceed even that of the Baby Boom era in its peak (United States 1). Significant realignments of political and economic power are certain to accompany these demographic shifts. Change of this magnitude could easily foster needless fear and apprehension which, in turn, could lead to misplaced calls for cultural entrenchment, isolation and, in the worst case scenario, violence. Libraries, receiving higher levels of public trust than hospitals, local police, and even churches ("lmage"), are uniquely positioned to provide leadership and perspective throughout this period. Accordingly, librarians have within their reach the ability to facilitate a calm and reasoned transition.

No institution can expect to exist in a vacuum during this period. Libraries will be no exception. Despite current levels of trust (bestowed by a population wherein three of four persons were white) and the assertion that libraries have been society's most visible symbol of diversity for thousands of years (Whitwell 56), maintaining such status will prove challenging during these years of increasing diversity. Therefore, prior to the assumption of this essential leadership role, libraries must first look inward to examine the present state of the profession. This will involve a thorough and critical examination of long-standing policies regarding staffing, promotion, and collection development to determine if the profession has been and continues to be an unwitting contributor to the very environment it seeks to transform.

People of color often view libraries with suspicion (Martin 33). A survey of traditional resources and the predominantly professional presence found in most libraries provide context and clarification regarding the origin of this distrust. It is readily apparent to even the untrained eye which culture has received preference and which cultures have been poorly represented. Throughout this period of rising diversity, declining levels of public trust and credibility can be reasonably predicted should libraries fail to acknowledge the need for internal change. This trust must come from people of color if they are to nurture reasonable expectations that libraries can perform as successful agents of change. Similarly, this trust must come from whites if they are expected to listen, learn, and gracefully acknowledge their evolving demographic status.

Nowhere is the need for change more obviously visible than within the ranks of professional librarians. ALA statistics reflect that whites accounted for 88.5 percent of the profession in 1985 and 87.7 percent in 1991. These same statistics show that in 1991 Asian Americans represented 3.85 percent of the profession, African Americans 6.28 percent, and Hispanics only 1.8 percent. Graciously or skeptically, depending on the perspective, ALA statistics do not extend beyond 1991 (St. Lifer and Nelson 44). This is one example which clearly demonstrates the contention that libraries are often perceived as institutional symbols of middle class whites (Alire 38).

The "pipeline" provides little hope for significant improvement in ethnic representation. Reports from library schools indicate that African Americans represented a mere 4 percent of graduates in 1982. Over the next thirteen years, the same African American presence climbed to an equally modest 4.2 percent of all graduates. Similarly, Hispanic graduation rates rose from 1.2 percent in 1982 to 2.1 percent in 1995. Asian Americans accounted for this highest level of growth with 1.8 percent in 1982 and 3.4 percent in 1995 (St Lifer and Nelson 44). These figures are consistent with statistics prepared by the National Center for Education. Of the 4893 MLIS degrees conferred from 1991 to 1992, whites accounted for 4230 of all graduates while African Americans received only 159 of these degrees. Next in line were Asian Americans with 148, followed by Hispanics with 106, and American Indians with 8 (Nance-Mitchell 407).

The challenge could not be clearer. Calls for acceptance and tolerance on a national level will have little impact as long as critics can point to the profession with justifiable admonitions of "heal thyself." It therefore falls to an institution dominated by overwhelming numbers of whites to initially act as proactive agents of internal change. However, reports from librarians of color indicate mere advocacy of inclusion and diversity will not be enough. The need for internal change will also require examination at the level of the individual.

The literature of librarianship and case studies of race relations provide many examples of the pervasive nature of racism as well as the evolution of racist attitudes and practices. Curry refers to a "new racism" characterized by either the outright denial of its existence or, if acknowledged, the persistent refusal to accept responsibility for its existence. This is a discreet racism that avoids white sheets and burning crosses. This is a racism of the fashionably dressed and better educated (301). A recent survey conducted by Library Journal found that racism and discrimination in the library profession are no better and no worse than society in general. When asked if white librarians have better career opportunities than librarians from other racial groups, 55 percent of Hispanics and Asian Americans stated that whites have the advantage. An alarming 80 percent of African Americans in the profession responded with an overwhelming "yes." That only 32 percent of white librarians found this to be the case is indicative of the work that lies ahead (St. Lifer and Nelson 43).

Programs and policies for the elimination of racism are destined for failure, if, through denial, they are considered unnecessary in the first place. Therefore, awareness and acknowledgement of racism within the profession are considered fundamental to the issues of diversity and inclusion. Adding to these complexities, researchers of race relations confess that it is far easier to demonstrate the existence of racism than it is to recommend specific steps for its elimination (Banks 10). Regardless, Kravitz, Lines, and Sykes point out that professional librairans must take responsible measures to not only become aware of racism, but to initiate appropriate action to counteract biases and stereotypes found in society. (186) Good intentions aside, these steps are fully consistent with goals to facilitate demographic transition in the changing years ahead. Leadership of this nature coming from highly respected professionals could encourage widespread emulation by today’s dominant culture. However, effective counteraction of racist atttitudes within the smaller society of librarianship will require additional effort and sensitivity.

The existing white domination of the profession will render racism, a virtually imperceptible and culturally ingrained system of winks, nods, and hushed tones, particularly difficult for supervisors and directors to detect. In most settings, these same leaders will be products of a dominant culture that has never required them to face issues form multiple perspectives. For these reasons, both staff and management will be better served by professionally prepared programs of cultural awareness and diversity. The literature of librarianship contains numerous accounts of successfully implemented training programs and reports of the results that have been experienced. This paper does not seek to provide an in-depth analysis of the specific issues of diversity training or a detailed examination of the required internal policy and mission decisions, but rather to propose concrete steps that librarians and their institutions may take to assist cultures on a possible collision course. Although many issues overlap, it will be sufficient to point out that proactive administrators can easily network with libraries who have sponsored such training as well as with professional facilitators who actually conduct these sessions.

With or without professional training, Hawley identifies several steps that may be taken on an individual basis to improve racial and ethnic relationships. (xv-xvu) The first of these is to promote among coworkers the importance of positive race relations and their worthiness as a goal. This involves not only personal advocacy, but the courage to recognize and dispel myths and stereotypes. Such courage, however, will be misplaced or inappropriate without factual knowledge of other cultures and their values. This has been referred to as the ability to recognize the existence of multiple perspectives and the ability to look out from the center of all experiences to a larger, more worldly viewpoint that recognizes that these centers exist simultaneously (Kravitz, Lines, and Sykes 185). Cultural ignorance must be acknowledged as a crippling anachronism.

Hawley’s next point maintains there is nothing more effective in improving race relations than providing the opportunity for people to work together as equals. This is perhaps the one theme most often repeated throughout the literature of diversity and inclusion. It serves to emphasize the sheer importance and simplicity of cultures coming together. There is no teacher quite so effective as firsthand experience. Often, the greatest fears and misconceptions are products of simple ignorance. Unchecked, these inaccuracies achieve near mythic proportions and promote the stereotypes eventually accepted as facts. Nothing shatters stereotypes quite like the process of familiarity – the simple act of getting to know one another (Whitwell 57). Through such an unassuming process as increased human contact, myths are easily exposed for what they are. However, Hawley cautions that this will require patience during the learning process as few will possess the knowledge and skills necessary for effective communication and behavior in a multicultural environment.

In outlining the actions and techniques which will ultimately assist in guiding a declining dominant culture into a new era, studies suggest this is best accomplished by the promotion of cultural awareness and diversity. Kruse reports:

People of color in this country know the dominant culture as well as their own; they must in order to function within it. However, white people typically are not raised by their families and schools to be bicultural. This, coupled with a lack of substantial direct experience with books and other media by people of color, reinforces a lack of firsthand knowledge. (33)
Therefore, a collection based on diversity and inclusion is considered essential for the promotion of familiarity among the general public. As the dominant culture looks to respected leaders and institutions for guidance and direction, the advocacy of diversity and inclusion will serve to increase cultural awareness and will reflect the importance of every voice and perspective. As people of color come to find their cultures and their voices in the library, they will come to recognize the institution as a place not only of knowledge, but support (Kravitz, Lines, and Sykes 188). Additionally, long held apprehensions will transform into a growing respect as the literature of these cultures is included on the shelves. Libraries and society will clearly benefit by the adoption of multicultural policies.

Despite these benefits, libraries have been sluggish in the development of balanced collections. Such hesitance may signal a reluctance on the part of some key staff members to change the way things have traditionally been done. This is simple human nature from which even librarians are not exempt. Another reason could be directly related to tight budgets and the unwillingness to trim money from one program in favor of another. Or perhaps delays are directly related to the indecision found inherent in unprepared members of any staff. Regardless, just when selection skills are needed most, many professional staff members will be poorly prepared for the task of building a diverse collection. This should be viewed as a systemic failure rather than an individual deficiency. Indeed, the very fact that librarians seek to balance collections is indicative of their professionalism and sense of responsibility.

Josey cites the major reason for sluggish collection development as a failure to involve people of color in organizations and decisions. (10) While commitments to staff diversification and uniform treatment will facilitate the establishment of an inclusive collection development policy, most libraries do not have significant ethnic representation among professional staff at this time. However, this involvement can be accomplished by networking with individuals and organizations in the community. In this instance, outreach should be viewed as an attempt to supplement an educational curriculum that failed to incorporate multicultural awareness and issues of inclusion. Supervisors should provide maximum support and be prepared to award such professionalism through appropriate annotation of annual performance appraisals. These are the very staff members management will most likely call on during the years of increasing diversity and minority recruitment.

Although previously mentioned monetary constraints are certain to force tough decisions, networking can be relatively cost free. Community outreach should not be regarded as optional.

Results indicate time and again that in order to properly plan for and attract ethnic populations, they must be included in the original design (St. Lifer and Nelson 46). Such inclusion is in keeping with a standard managerial practice that seeks to involve the very people affected by change as a part of the change process. This participation promotes a feeling of involvement and increases the likelihood of ultimate acceptance. Likewise, such assistance facilitates the selection of materials and resources considered culturally authentic. This will also serve as a legitimate demonstration to emerging minorities, the future tax and political base, that libraries are a vital, responsive voice in the community.

This is not idealistic prattle. A number of libraries throughout the country have already implemented successful programs of diversity and inclusion. Serving as models for the rest of the profession, the accounts of these institutions are readily found in the journals and periodicals of librarianship. Perhaps the greatest amount of attention has been directed toward ALA efforts to fund the education of fifty minority students per year. With a cost of $5000 per student per year, this three year program which will eventually represent a total investment of 1.5 million dollars (Martinez 32). However, even this effort has not escaped criticism for lack of inclusion from minority communities (St. Lifer and Nelson 46). Further, with an estimated 115,000 libraries in the U.S. (Josey 10), the increase of professional librarians of color will be equivalent to a mere drop in the bucket. Placed in this context, the program is easily viewed as a quick fix that falls far short of the mark. Additionally, ALA cannot consistently underwrite such initiatives. The money is simply not there. Coming from the top down, worthy programs such as these will be futile without a corresponding and coordinated effort from the ground up. Again, the path comes back to inclusion.

By now it should come as no surprise that people of color have not chosen the field of librarianship. Realistically, no one should expect them to. They have not found themselves among the ranks of professional staff and they have not found themselves included in the literature on the shelves (Kravitz, Lines, and Sykes 185). Based on this historic exclusion, the reports of minority misgivings of libraries can only be viewed as the logical conclusion to policies of exclusion. The profession cannot hope for significant success in the recruitment of people who, at best, distrust the very institution which calls to them. Clearly, the answer lies in inclusion - not an inclusion of expediency, but an inclusion that has been experienced from the ground up and has been incorporated into an integral part of everyday life. Managers seeking to correct these deficiencies, but fearful of employee backlash, will draw encouragement from the results of a 1995 Time/CNN poll. This survey found that while most people oppose harsh quotas, 80% believe affirmative action programs should be continued at some level. As affirmative action applies only to those applicants considered job-qualified, present members of staff would not be impacted. As for vacant or newly created positions, a 1995 survey conducted by the Roper Center reveals that 75% of the public does not find discriminatory the selection of a candidate of color from a pool of equally qualified applicants (Pious 27-30).

Today's youth are pivotal to the inclusion of tomorrow. A study conducted in 1993 found that 60 percent of the people entering public libraries during a typical week were children and young adults (Late Bulletins). Theirs will be an inheritance of cultural alienation or acceptance of diversity. Advocating multicultural education for students, Banks states:

Students must develop multicultural literacy and cross-cultural competency if they are to become knowledgeable, reflective, and caring citizens in the twenty-first century. To acquire the for effective citizenship in a multicultural society, students must be helped to view U.S. history and culture from new and different perspectives, must acquire new knowledge about U.S. society, and must be helped to understand skills needed knowledge as a social construction. Knowledge is neither neutral nor static; it is culturally based, perspectivistic, dynamic, and changing. (13)
Children are still gathering the information that will shape their opinions for a lifetime. While the extent of family influence cannot be denied, the best opportunity to provide a positive influence on racial and ethnic attitudes is during the early years of development. As children grow older and move into higher grades, it becomes increasingly difficult to influence their attitudes (Banks 95-96). Therefore, librarians must stand firmly united in the advocacy of diverse and inclusive literature for public and elementary school libraries. There can be only one outcome: children of color will form higher and healthier opinions of themselves at an early age. Similarly, children of all cultures will be exposed to the existence of multiple perspectives and the concept that all people have voices and worth. There is no reasonable method available to estimate the potential benefits. One possible conclusion is that as collections are developed and balanced, children of color will develop an increased respect for libraries. This creates an environment not unlike that of white children and libraries.

Perhaps ALA has the cart before the horse. Massive funding provided for one period in time will have little influence in the long run. Cries for increased minority recruitment in library schools will fall on deaf ears if there is no interest. Library schools can reap these diverse harvests only if the seeds are planted in time. Libraries and professional organizations, too long enrapt and enamored with the financing and acquisition of emerging technologies, must make similar commitments of time, effort, and money to address the needs of emerging minorities. Directors must openly advocate diversity and inclusion in all aspects of librarianship and tenaciously lobby for budget hikes. Front-line staff must support these directors, network with their communities, and offer their services as mentors wherever and whenever required. The ALA and related organizations must work hand-in-hand with library schools to place the subject of multiculturalism within the core of required courses. It will require a true team effort to provide the education and resources necessary to make libraries look like America.

As professional librarianship evolves in response to a society in transformation, it will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage internal change. Whether it be in response to diverse staffing, race relations, or inclusive collections, truly committed professionals will find the answers they seek. Viewed as a microcosm, the issues faced by libraries and librarians are no different from those found in other institutions and in society as a whole. Through the slow process of critical self-examination, reevaluation and change, the profession will ultimately possess the vision and leadership necessary to effect change on a wider scale. Today’s children will be society’s leaders in the year 2050. It is reasonable to assume that they will lead as they have been led. True change will require many long years of determined effort by many strong people of determined wills. It cannot happen overnight, but it can begin. Possessing a wealth of skills, resources and information, librarians and their institutions can lay the foundation upon which all may build. Libraries can change the world – one patron at a time.

Works Cited

Alire, Camila A. "Ethnic Populations: A Model for Statewide Service." American Libraries 28.10(1997): 38-40.
A librarian's report on a Colorado plan to increase public, academic, and school library
use in minority communities.

Banks, James A. Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Societv. Multicultural Education Ser. New York: Teachers College Press, 1997.
A study of the manner in which knowledge is constructed by social scientists and influence on students and teachers. Included is a discussion of the effective education of teachers and scholars to facilitate the conceptualization, design, and implementation of projects and programs that promote citizenship in a free society.

Curry, Deborah A. "Your Worries Ain't Like Mine: African American Librarians and the Pervasiveness of Racism, Prejudice and Discrimination in Academe." Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Academic Libraries: Multicultural Issues. Ed. Deborah A. Curry et al. New York: Haworth Press, 1994.299-311.
A collection of essays wherein the authors are encouraged to define and elaborate ondiversity and multiculturalism and offer perspectives on how well libraries and librarians are dealing with the issues surrounding the concepts.

Friedman, Dorian and Kenan Pollack. "Ahead: A Very Different Nation." US News and World Report. 23 Mar. 1996:16.
A brief examination of U.S. demographics and census projections up to the year 2050.

Hawley, Willis D. Introduction. "Our Unfinished Task." Toward a Common Destiny: Improving Race and Ethnic Relations in America. Ed. Willis D. Hawley and Anthony W. Jackson. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995. Xi-xvii.
A collection of essays summarizing what is known about the sources of racial and ethnic prejudice in America and identifying methods in which individuals and organizations can act to reduce intolerance and discrimination.

"Image." American Libraries 27.2 (1996):15.
A report of the high public esteem enjoyed by libraries. Extracted from Virtual America, a 1994 publication published by the Barna Research Group of Glendale, California.

Josey, E. J. "The State of Diversity." Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Academic Libraries: Multicultural Issues. Ed. Deborah A. Curry et al. New York: Haworth Press, 1994. 5-11.
A collection of essays wherein the authors are encouraged to define and elaborate on diversity and multiculturalism and offer perspectives on how well libraries and librarians are dealing with the issues surrounding the concepts.

Kravitz, Rhonda Rios, Adella Lines, and Vivian Sykes. "Serving the Emerging Majority: Documenting Their Voices." Library Administration and Management 5.4 (1991): 184-188.
An analysis of changing demographics in California and the library’s need to respond to racism. Examines the library’s role as leader and advocate to guide society toward increased cultural competence.

Kruse, Ginny Moore. "No Single Season: Multicultural Literature for All Children." Wilson Library Bulletin 66.6 (1992): 30+.
Advice for librarians regarding the selection and recommendation of authentic multicultural resources for children.

"Late Bulletins." Library Journal 15 Nov. 1995:11.
Contains six one-paragraph news items including a report concerning the use of public libraries by children and young adults.

Martin, Rebecca R. Libraries and the Changing Face of Academia: Responses to Growing Multicultural Populations. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1994.
Analysis of the ongoing change within higher education. Includes case studies of three institutions, a discussion of the responsiveness and adaptation of academic libraries, and an examination of the necessity for change.

Martinez, Elizabeth. "Diversity: The 21st Century Spectrum." American Libraries 28:3 (1997): 32.
Explanation of the conditions which lead to the ALA initiative that provides scholarships to 50 minority students per year. Concludes with a universal call for those in the profession to provide support and assistance to this program and its graduates.

Nance-Mitchell, Veronica. "A Multicultural Library: Strategies for the Twenty-First Century." College and Research Libraries 57.5 (1996): 405-413.
An analysis of the increasingly diverse nature of the U.S. population and the demands that must be met. A specific call for academe to commit to affirmative action programs that are designed to recruit and retain library students of color.

Pious, S. "Ten Myths About Affirmative Action." Journal of Social Issues 52.4 (1996): 25-31.
Analysis of ten common myths of affirmative action programs. Includes survey results and statistics which are used to expose inaccurate claims or assumption. This is one essay in an issue that is devoted to affirmative action.

St. Lifer, Evan, and Corinne Nelson. "Unequal Opportunities: Race Does Matter." Library Journal 1 Nov. 1997: 42-46.
First hand accounts of the experiences of librarians of color. Includes survey results regarding the awareness of racism in libraries and perceived career opportunities.

United States. Bureau of the Census. Population Projections of the United States by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1995 to 2050. Washington: GPO, 1996.
Highlights of population size and growth from the period 1995 to 2050. Contains an abundance of data regarding age, sex, and race distribution throughout the U.S.

Whitwell, Stuart C. A. "Intimate World, Intimate Workplace." American Libraries 27.2 (1996): 56-59.
A report on how the Association of Research Libraries and ALA are strengthening their commitment to diversity.

 


Message from the Editor…

This has been an eventful year for the Alumni Association. Early in the 1998-99 year, the Association’s President, Stewart Brower, left Oklahoma to take a job in St. Louis. President-Elect Vicki Sullivan had to suddenly take over as President, so she will serve two years as President! Also, early during the year last year, the Association suffered a severe money crunch due to an increase in postage and mailing expenses and a decrease in membership. The Executive Board was forced to make some serious decisions. The decision was made to make Tracings accessible on the web rather than mail copies out to everyone. Since this is a transitional period, two issues have been combined in this one. We appreciate your patience as the Association goes through these changes. But remember, no matter how "transitional" we are, we always want to know what’s going on with you! We always need news! If you have any news for Tracings, please send it or e-mail it to the Library School.  Hopefully, you’ll also want to join the Association if you are not already a member.


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