Minutes of January 12, 2009 Meeting

C. Caviness, L. Fredenburg, T. Kuchi (chair), R. Martinez, N. Mukherjee, S. Troy, M. Wilt, P. Young.
Videoconferenced members: V. Cvetkovic, W. Ren

I. Kuchi called the meeting to order at 3:35 pm. She reminded all committee members that all discussion materials are maintained on the committee's Sakai site.

II. The Future of Diversity and Opportunities in Higher Education: A National Forum on Innovation and Collaboration?Conference December 3-5, 2008

Rutgers University, Columbia University, and College Board sponsored the three-day conference held at the Rutgers Student Center, CAC. Fredenburg, Kuchi, Troy, Wilt shared some program highlights: in navigating change, looking at language in policies, job descriptions, etc. moving diversity to be more fully woven into the fabric of university programming. Lani Guinier presented in a session discussing merit and urged attendees to thoughtfully assess their communities of human resources to identify talents resident there. Marianne and Jim Neal presented on challenges facing libraries. [Kuchi shared copies of their handouts and will make them available on the Sakai site.]

III. Fredenburg reported on the start of planning for the 2010 Diversity in Libraries Conference--Princeton is a lead sponsor, and Rutgers will also sponsor. All types of libraries will be participating in the Conference, and Fredenburg said the planning committee will need much help, including submitting proposals for presentations. Wu reported on a paper she is writing with Mei Ling Lo, Ryan Womack, Tao Yang documenting their experiences in designing the multilingual pages on the Libraries' website. The paper could be developed into a presentation for the conference. The committee all offered to help as needed in the planning and implementation of the conference.

IV. Diversity Website: Kuchi shared hard copies of the newly-designed diversity website and asked the committee for feedback and suggestions, ideas for further refinements of the site. Kuchi will share the link to the site, and gather comments, etc. on the Sakai site. Kuchi, Fredenburg, and Wilt will serve as contacts and coordinate future updates, new design for the site. Fredenburg, Kuchi and Caviness are updating the Internship/Residency section. The committee agreed that there should be a formal announcement/launch of the Diversity website, and Kuchi will coordinate with Harry Glazer to have the launch publicized.

Several suggestions for expanding the site: (1) including awards received, e.g. Human Dignity Award (Thelma Tate); (2) ALA Diversity Fair displays?certificates of participation, photos.

V. At Wen's suggestion, the committee added a new goal for 2009?develop diversity and multicultural research guide that would also link to women's and gender issues, etc. Caviness, Kuchi, and Ren volunteered to develop the guide.

VI. World Languages Update: Kuchi announced as of October, Welcome pages are up and more are planned. She described what an intense process it was to translate, review, and then make the script and translations "Web accessible" on the RUL Website.

VII. Wilt and Kuchi reported on the upcoming gathering of New Employees that will include a welcome and statement from Marianne affirming the value and place of diversity in the life of the Libraries. Caviness, Fredenburg, Kuchi, and Wu will work with Wilt to finalize plans for this event.

VIII. The committee wants to sponsor a system-wide diversity event--we would call it a festival--celebrating the diversity within our ranks. We talked about coordinating the festival so that, if possible, we could stage events on all three campuses at the same time. Ideally, we would like to have it outdoors, like a picnic, with live music, and a festive sharing of foods from many cultures. The theme was identified as: Eating the potato ? sharing our culture and differences. Library faculty and staff will be invited to bring potato dishes and recipes to share…e.g. Irish, Indian, and Chinese ways of preparing potatoes were discussed, and when the question of having something sweet came up -- desserts made of Irish potatoes or sweet potatoes were mentioned!

The committee suggested staging the event in June or early summer, and reaching out to diversity student groups on campus to join us.

[Post meeting addendum: The theme of the event comes from the idea that the potato (like a human being) is essentially the same no matter where it is grown in the world, but the culture and creativity brought to it makes the experience unique and different. This theme provides a fun but strong basis to celebrate our differences. One suggested title includes Eating the potato -- Culture, Communication and Camaraderie. Wilt researched possible dates along with Cvetkovic and Ren, and decided instead to identify a date the last week in April, beginning of May as a better time.]

Please send your comments and suggestions to mrwilt@rci.rutgers.edu or kuchi@rci.rutgers.edu]

The meeting adjourned at 4:26 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Wilt

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/diversity_com/minutes/diversity_09_01_12.shtml
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