jclc 2012

01 Oct

Just over a week ago, I returned from attending the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC).  JCLC is sponsored by the five ALA ethnic associations:  AILA, APALA, BCALA, CALA, and REFORMA.  This year was only the second time the conference was held — the first happened six years ago.  I first heard of JCLC a couple years ago and was very excited to learn that the second conference was in the process of being planned.  I’m very fortunate and grateful to have received a Kansas City Crown Center Scholarship that funded my trip.  Without that financial assistance, there’s no way I would have been able to attend.

JCLC was definitely the best conference I have attended (so far).  The size of the conference wasn’t large enough to be overwhelming, or too small to be stifling, and everyone I met was incredibly friendly and approachable.  The main reason I wanted to attend is that the conference’s focus is on exploring various diversity issues in libraries, and my research interests all center on issues of diversity in archives.

While I attended many sessions over the course of a few days, I enjoyed “The Need for Diversity Research in the Profession: A Collaborative Opportunity” the most.  Karen Downing, Merve Fejzula, and Mark Winston all made a strong case for why more research needs to be conducted on diversity in the profession.  Below is a storify of tweets from that session, but missing from them is another takeaway I got — often research is conducted that is then not shared.  Research isn’t only to inform our own work but to inform others as well, so if you’ve done something, be sure to share that knowledge with others!

  1. Makibaj
    The Need for Diversity Research #JCLC2012 opening discussion of whether America is a post racial society. A resounding NO.

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 08:54:57
  2. roselovec
    Post-racial america? Every societal indicator (health, ed, housing, hunger, employment, poverty) points to no. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 08:54:51
  3. roselovec
    Gaps in the literature: empirical research, library-based research, theoretically framed studies. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 08:58:34
  4. CarlSHess
    Only handful or two of people in #lis field studying diversity and very little framework for generalizing #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 08:59:29
  5. roselovec
    Benefits of diversity in organizations: better user/customer satisfaction, improved decision-making, greater creativity. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:03:09
  6. Makibaj
    Benefits of diversity to orgs include better user satisfaction, stronger robust orgs just to name a few #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:05:18
  7. CarlSHess
    Diversity trumps homogenous expertise (Page 2001) #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:07:08
  8. roselovec
    Research vs. assessment: assessment examines a single phenonmena. Research is a more robust, methodical process. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:12:32
  9. roselovec
    Research is led by research question, then you figure out method and ground it in existing lit and framework – not in a vacuum. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:14:02
  10. CarlSHess
    High correlation between successful organizations and diverse ones, but it has been hard showing causality #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:16:19
  11. roselovec
    Indemic inequality in academic libraries: library of congress classification! Mixed race families between incest & mental health. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:20:40
  12. roselovec
    Why do research? Document best practices. Increase credibility of profession/als. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:23:56
  13. traceyfromkc
    Diversity can be key to the quality of group outcomes (Scott Page research) #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:24:02
  14. roselovec
    Why is research important? Informed decision-making, influence decision makers, encourage investment in diversity, build knowledge #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:28:54
  15. roselovec
    Supreme Court justices made affirmative action decision based on research #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:32:28
  16. CarlSHess
    Why don’t librarians research? Lack comfort with methods, no time, don’t see relevance, and no support for it. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:42:20
  17. roselovec
    Use professonal network to publish! Ask someone to collaborate with you. Less overwhelming. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:47:10
  18. roselovec
    Know someone who’s already published? Get connected to their book editors, journal editorial boards. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:48:35
  19. CarlSHess
    Most research collaborations in #LIS between people with similar roles. We need to mix it up. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:52:11
  20. roselovec
    Awesome comment from audience member about the need for more humanities based research in LIS! #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 09:55:43
  21. roselovec
    Research that’s not informed by existing lit is of limited value. Can be easily dismissed. #JCLC2012

    Sat, Sep 22 2012 10:06:48

I want to expand on that last tweet because it’s a pet peeve of mine.  Research needs to be grounded in and contextualized by the existing literature.  If you haven’t taken a look at what others have already done, your work just won’t be as strong.  This is something I definitely look for when conducting peer reviews of papers submitted to the SLIS Student Research Journal, and I find that often it is either missing or people just summarize works in their literature reviews without providing any analysis of them.  The latter is something I did until I finally had a professor who provided actual guidance on writing scholarly literature reviews, instead of assuming everyone was already skilled in writing them.  I definitely think that a research methods course should be a requirement in all library schools, but unfortunately that’s not the case.  How are we supposed to educate others about conducting research if we don’t have any experience ourselves?

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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in conferences, diversity


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