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Recognizing the strengths in our differences: Introducing the Libraries Diversity Education Initiative

DeEtta Jones

Professor Clement A. Price

At Rutgers, we understand the value of diversity. But how well are we practicing it?

Would learning more about our colleagues' cultures and values help us work more effectively with them?

How can we improve our workplaces and study/research spaces, to make them more welcoming and inclusive for all?

Introducing the Libraries new Diversity Education Initiative, a multi-year series of programs designed to educate and inform everyone in the diverse Libraries' environment, including those in the broader community the Libraries serve. The programs will expand awareness and understanding of the different needs and expectations of our communities, while recognizing the value of our Libraries' personnel, and the students and faculty who use the Libraries, to the creation and maintenance of a dynamic, vibrant learning environment.

All members of the Rutgers University community are invited to attend each of the following programs.

Monday, March 10, 2008-Why the Diversity Boom?
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm, Teleconference Lecture Hall, Scholarly Communication Center,
Alexander Library
Clement A. Price, Director, Rutgers-Newark Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience; Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor, History, Rutgers-Newark
Dr. Price will reflect on changing perceptions and understanding of the impacts of diversity both in the academic research university and in the broader community.

Thursday, March 13, 2008-Diversity by Design: New Directions in Recruiting, Educating and Retaining Emerging Majority Librarians
10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Teleconference Lecture Hall, Scholarly Communication Center,
Alexander Library
Betty J. Turock, Professor Emerita, School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, Rutgers University
Dr. Turock will present a brief review of the data on the long-standing inadequacy of diversity in the ranks of the profession, then move on to new approaches, backed by research, to increase representativeness for the future.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008-Cross-Cultural Communication Skills
9:00 am to 12:00 noon; 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Special Collections Room, Library of Science and Medicine, Busch Campus
DeEtta M. Jones, organizational development consultant, whose practice focuses on leadership and cross cultural competency for the 21st century, will facilitate this half-day workshop.
This course describes effective cross-cultural communication skills and provides opportunities for participants to practice some new techniques. Participants will learn conceptual models for understanding how different people process information and how to maximize their interpersonal effectiveness working across cultures. Registration is limited to 20 participants for each session of this workshop. To register for one of these sessions, please send an email to Marilyn Wilt at

Thursday, March 27, 2008-Days of Glory - Indigenés
8:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Teleconference Lecture Hall, Scholarly Communication Center,
Alexander Library
A film and discussion of Algerian tirailleurs in World War II. The screening and panel discussion are part of an international workshop, "Re-Evaluating World War II", held at Rutgers University, March 27th to 30th.
The film was released February 23, 2007 and was an Oscar Award Nominee for 'Best Foreign Film' in 2007. Further information:
Panel Participants:
  Gregory Mann, Ph.D. - Columbia University
  Ruth Gini, Ph. D. - Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  Driss Maghraoui, Ph.D. - Al Akhawayn University, Morocco

Tuesday, April 22, 2008-Building Tolerance and Acceptance
9:30 am to 11:00 am, Pane Room, Alexander Library
Christina Bilinski, Manager, Training and Development, University Human Resources, will facilitate.

Thursday, April 17-Join the Circle of Knowledge
1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Pane Room, Alexander Library
Special open house hosted by the Training and Learning Committee of the Rutgers University Libraries, showcasing two partnerships that support the circle of knowledge-the technologies that enhance user resources and services, and our student workers who provide valuable services throughout the Libraries.

If you would like further information about any of these programs, or to RSVP, please call 732/932-7505 or send email to:

Posted March 3, 2008; March 4, 2008