Combating Racism in Libraries:
Creating Spaces to Educate and Inform Our Communities

Date: Wednesdays September 23 - October 21, 2020 
Time: 2 – 3 p.m. EST
Register Here

The Public Libraries Section (PLS) of NYLA is dedicated to supporting public libraries and public library staff of New York State. Ethnic Services Round Table (ESRT) has provided a forum for libraries and library staff to share information on ethnic services. United we value diversity, equity, inclusion and stand against racism, hatred, and violence. To take action, we have collaborated to curate the webinar series, “Combating Racism in Libraries: Creating Spaces to Educate and Inform Our Communities.” It will be a thought provoking hour. The goal of the series is for libraries and library staff to learn, share, and discuss the historical and present day barrieres that communities are facing regarding racism against the Black community. We hope you’ll join us to learn how we can combat racism together and create spaces for our communities to listen, learn, and grow.


Session information:

Community and Communication in the Dialogue on American Racism - Past, Present & Future
The webinar series kicks off with a discussion of the cultural barriers that hamper many Americans from seeing how race and racism function in the United States, and explore strategies for breaking down those barriers and promoting greater racial equity and inclusivity among native-born and new Americans alike.

Speakers: Andrew Jackson, Chenthu Jayachandiran
Moderator: David Nochimson


Using Collection Development and Readers Advisory to Introduce Race Relations
Libraries are integral parts of helping community members shape their perspectives. As such, it is imperative that our methods for collection development and reader's advisory acknowledges the diversity of our society, thereby continuing to create empathy in our communities. During this discussion, we will talk about strategies and techniques that will be useful in developing collections without bias and personal prejudice.

Speakers: Robin Bradford, Becky Spratford
Moderator: Shauntee Burns
Host: Jo-Ann Wong


Inclusive Programming - Every Race, Every Month
We can all acknowledge and recognize the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those in the BIPOC community. Underrepresented patrons may experience issues which limit their full, beneficial use of the library. Some of these issues may stem from a lack of full representation in important aspects of library programming. Our panelists will discuss how better to include EDI in library programming.

Speakers: Rose Dawson, Novella Ford, Shakira Smalls
Moderator: Kelly Yim


I Write about Race - a panel discussion
In our daily lives, we are often confronted with matters concerning race, but are not always given the language to articulate these concepts. Presenters of this panel discussion will talk about the need to write, publish, and supply books that honestly discuss race and racism. How can books be used to facilitate difficult dialogue?

Speakers: Shabnam Banerjee-McFarland, Richard Bell, Jennifer Brown, Dr. Ron Daniels
Moderator: Toni Coleman Brown


Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Human Resources & Microaggressions in the Workplace
In the workplace, implicit bias and microaggressions can inform our relations with our co-workers. To create a more equitable workforce, we need to better understand the implicit biases and barriers that are in place for many workers, including minorities and New Americans. As such, our panelists will discuss how all Americans can benefit from enacting EDI education and support in our work spaces. They will talk about their experiences, and offer tools and solutions that will help in creating a more inclusive and equitable workforce.

Speakers: Cici Holloway, Tamara King
Moderator: Manny Figueroa 


Teaching Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and American Culture in ESOL Classrooms
In ESOL classrooms and courses, American culture is often used as a backdrop to learn a new language. However, in today's current climate, it is impossible to teach about and use American
culture in the ESOL classroom without addressing race. In ESOL classrooms, this dynamic becomes more delicate, as we talk about race in relations to movements like Black Lives Matter, and also the discrimination that immigrants face on a daily basis. Our panelists will discuss how matters of race are addressed both in the classroom setting, and also at the professional development level for teachers.

Speakers: Andrea Honigsfeld, Shenzhan Liao
Moderator: Jo-Ann Wong