Librarians shine a light on diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and opportunities at ISCORE 2021

Mar 03, 2021

The Thomas L. Hill Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) is March 3-5, and for the first time is in a virtual format. The University Library is well-represented at ISCORE and different staff members will present on each day. For additional conference information, visit the ISCORE site.

Wednesday, March 3, 2-2:50 p.m.: Diverse STEM Reading: A Layercake of Problems

Presenters: Erin Thomas, Science and Technology Librarian and Megan O’Donnell, Data Services Librarian

Description: As librarians we are frequently asked “How do I find books by trans scientists?” or “How do I research what it’s like to be a black engineer?” but while there is increasing interest in these types of works they remain difficult to find, recommend, and purchase. This is frustrating for educators and librarians, but especially for readers who want to see diverse experiences and cultures reflected in media and education.

The truth is that not all experiences are captured in “literature.” Marginalized populations face barriers - in education, in careers, in publishing - limiting the number of formal accounts of their lives in “academic media”. Songs, videos, blogs, documentaries, self-published memoirs, etc. are all valid forms of personal expression and experience, so why are they not valued and included in STEM? In this session, we’ll discuss systemic participation and inclusion barriers marginalized groups face and ways we can fight this pattern in the classroom, the library, and beyond.

This presentation will be of value to educators hoping to diversify and expand “reading” lists and students researching these topics.


Thursday, March 4, 9-9:50 a.m.: Tracing Race at Iowa State University: A New Digital Scholarship Initiative

Presenters: Erin Anderson, Digital Scholarship Librarian and Hannah Scates Kettler, Digital Scholarship and Initiatives, Department Head

Description: The Tracing Race at Iowa State University Initiative is a new effort to encourage, support, and facilitate digital scholarship projects that center the history and experiences of people of color within the Iowa State community. Through this initiative, the University Library and an interdisciplinary advisory committee seek to reveal the under-documented history of accomplishments and experiences of people of color and engage with the history of race, inequality, racism and student, faculty and staff activism on and off campus. This session will introduce the initiative and provide guidance for how students, faculty, and staff interested in participating can translate a project idea or research question into a digital project proposal.


Friday, March 5, 11-11:50 a.m.: Moving Towards More Inclusion at Your Library

Presenter: Susan Vega Garcia, Assistant Dean, Inclusion and Equity and Associate Professor

Description: Since 2018, the ISU Library has implemented programs and policies to engage library staff at all levels in cultural competence and DEI learning. Programs include facilitated book discussions, an online learning site in Canvas, and a speaker series. Policies include the requirement for all library staff to report DEI efforts on annual performance reviews. Reviews of policies and hiring practices are also underway. The goal of these programs and policies is to make the library a more inclusive space for the ISU community and library staff.