IG Showcase: DIAL: “Black Lives Matter: How Librarians Can Serve as Allies.”

Location: Santa Ana (first floor).

Diversity in Academic Libraries (DIAL) is an interest group of the larger California Academic and Research Libraries (CARL). DIAL’s focus on diversity in academic and research libraries is particularly relevant to the current culture of academia and academic libraries.  DIAL was reestablished in 2015 with the following objectives: to promote an understanding and sensitivity about services and resources for the diverse students/faculty using California academic and research libraries, and to promote inclusivity, equity, and diversity within institutional policies, practices, and the profession. We understand the power of community and recently consolidated DIAL South and North to become one DIAL encompassing both regions.  Our group hopes to inspire and be inspired by conference attendees interested in the value of social/cultural competence.

DIAL intends to showcase the best practices that California academic libraries/librarians can utilize in their efforts to support diversity, particularly in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter is a national movement begun in 2012 in reaction to the injustice of Trayvon Martin’s murder and the acquittal of his murderer, George Zimmerman. Black Lives Matter seeks to move beyond a narrow sphere of acceptance that exists in individual communities e.g. the black community, the Asian community, the gay community to adopting a broader affirmation of all people regardless of ethnicity, ability, or sexual orientation.

Black Lives Matter focuses on bringing to the forefront groups that have been marginalized and rendered effectively invisible in our culture. We will demonstrate how the academic library has supported projects to bring marginalized groups to the forefront of the academic community, creating an environment where academic success is achievable and students and educators are supported through resources and provision of pedagogical tools.

Social inequality exists on school campuses across our nation. Academic libraries have the obligation and the honor of bringing these students out of the shadows to stand among our best and brightest. Black Lives Matter is an important movement in advancing social justice. Academic Libraries further this movement as will be demonstrated in our presentation. We seek to inspire a spirit of advocacy for all groups in the interests of intellectual and cultural freedom, the bedrock upon which academic libraries stand.