I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color also known as JCLC in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With over 1000 registered attendees from all over the country, the theme for this year’s conference was “Gathering All Peoples: Embracing Culture and Community.” From “Cultural Humility for Library Workers” to “Environmental Justice at Your Library and in Your Community,” many exciting sessions offered opportunities to engage and develop professionally and personally.
Co-organized by the Joint Council of Librarians of Color, ALA, and ethnic affiliates such as the American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking), this unique conference has occurred every four years in the past and welcomes all library workers, information professionals, advocates, archivists, community supporters, and educators to attend.
At times, it was difficult to choose between so many great presentations—but luckily many of the notes and slides have been shared online. Here are my three takeaways from JCLC 2018:
- Confronting the Monolithic Library – This session was organized by Dr. Adriene Lim from University of Oregon, and panelists included Dr. Jon Cawthrone from Waye State University, Associate Dean Cynthia Henderson from University of Southern California and Dr. Janet H. Clarke from Stony Brook University. These library leaders shared their perspectives in cultivating and integrating empathy in their library organizations to transform collaborations, assessments, campus/community engagements, and leadership developments. They discussed the concept of organizational empathy, how to expand decision-making processes, universal design and accessibility, and personal learning and development to advance diversity and inclusion efforts in the library. Check out the slides here.
- Digital Surveillance and Instruction - Yasmeen Shorish from James Madison University and Michael Mungin from University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College gave a fascinating presentation on how to incorporate data ethics and privacy in library one-shots or embedded library instruction programs. They focused on encouraging learners to think about their personal data, and how surveillance of social media can have “detrimental effects on communities of color and other vulnerable groups.” This session reminded me of a collaborative opportunity where I partnered with a student assistant from the Library IT Division to co-teach data ethics and privacy concerns in a library instruction. Overall, the session provided useful advice and guidelines to encourage data information literacy instruction in production, consumption, and research. Slides and handouts are available in the website as well.
- Making on Purpose – Speakers from public and academic libraries discussed inclusive and collaborative activities in creating makerspaces and hackathons. Librarian Jennifer Nichols from the University of Arizona spoke about cultivating partnerships from diverse user groups to “counteract the dominant structures that often accompany the maker movement.” Other speakers discussed the Southwest’s first women’s-only hackathon, which was a great opportunity to build community engagement and support to promote “diverse representation of women-identified participants across an articulation of classes, races, ages and abilities.” You can also read more about hackathons in my interview with Orlando Leon, Fresno State's Chief Information Officer.
Want more information about JCLC? Follow up with the hashtag #JCLC2018 to find more posts and conversations online. The #JCLC2018 blog also featured sessions from the conference that you can read more about.
The planning for #JCLC2022 is underway. If you’re interested, please make note of the year and consider volunteering or planning to attend when the announcements come out. The location will be announced at ALA Annual 2020 in Washington D.C. (Thanks to Librarian Lessa Nani Pelayo-Lozada, member of the #JCLC2018 steering committee for the tip!)