ALA Midwinter 2019

Putting it all together…

I volunteered to live blog during #alamw19 and attended some really great sessions that I wanted to share.  But, I never got around to it. As my Mom would say, I’m still digesting everything I learned and everything I saw.Let me explain, I attended a pre-conference event on health literacy, but it really looked at implicit bias.  The ALSC Leadership discussion headed by Debbie LeeKennan talked about how we as librarians can become anti-bias leaders and model that behavior for our patrons and families. I was so excited by these sessions, and even told our Blog coordinator, and all around ALSC/Librarian extraordinaire Mary Voors how thrilled I was by the connections I was making between the two sessions.

There was also Robin DIAngelo’s event around white fragility, and the events that unfolded at #alacouncil, followed by subsequent emails and statements.

So, here I am .  I remain intrigued, frustrated, confused, all sorts of things.  I’m excited and intrigued by the tools that I felt that I left my pre-conference and ALSC Leadership programs with and the ideas that are churning in my mind.  I am trying hard to understand how I can feel the excitement that I do, while coming to terms with the frustration, confusion and anger I feel by the actions and events that I have heard occurred at Council. I am frustrated, angry and confused (but, not necessarily surprised) by the fact that we preach and teach these lessons, but they continually occur within our organization.  And not just on a national organization level, but within the walls of our libraries.

I am confused as to why these programs and speakers, which help us open our eyes to our own biases and work that needs to be done, that need to be heard so loudly- and by many- were slated at an event that there are talks of cancelling altogether.  Can we host these speakers and conversations again, at Annual?  Can we make them available to those who aren’t able to attend? Archive them forever?   Maybe these conversations are already being had, or are being discussed.  I’m not always on the up-and-up when it comes to ALA reasoning and dialogues, though I do know much time goes into planning these events, and I do not want to negate any of that hard work.

Amy already wrote a post challenging all of us to do better.  I like that.  I am challenging myself to sit with myself and try to synthesize a more thorough yet concise explanation of what I learned and share it with my coworkers, and here on this blog. Finally, I am challenging myself to have hope that things will come from all of this.  Not just on a grand scale, but on a personal level, as I evaluate the type of librarian I want to be and how I can best practice what I preach.  Stay tuned…

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