Last week I attended a webinar on examining your organization’s mission and vision through a racial equity lens. The first thing we did was participate in a poll that asked how comfortable our organization was in having conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The majority of responses indicated that the people attending were comfortable or somewhat comfortable. However, 26% of the attendees answered that they were somewhat uncomfortable or very uncomfortable having the conversation within their organizations. This relatively high percentage was an excellent reminder that people and their organizations come to the topic with varying degrees of knowledge, self-education and access to applicable learning experiences. This is also why NEO-RLS is trying to offer a wide array of learning opportunities centered around DEI in order to meet the varying levels of understanding that exist within our libraries. In March we have added some new introductory programs, including “Single Story Bias
” and “Introduction to Coded Language
.” We will continue to offer as many programs as possible, from introductory to more advanced, in order to give our members the opportunity to learn and grow. My hope is that if you have to reply to a poll, like the one I took, you are able to say that your library is comfortable having conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion. Thanks and have a safe and healthy week!