Telling Our Stories: Community Building and Leadership

3rd National Joint Librarians of Color Conference / Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The impetus for the grant was to bring 20 LIS students to the REFORMA National Conference VI to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico in September 2017. Attending a national conference would offer the LIS students the chance to network with REFORMA members, attend presentations and learn about the successes and challenges of working to promote library services to the Latinx community. Meeting with these students would enable REFORMA members the opportunity of Telling Our Stories and to welcome the next generation of new librarians to REFORMA and to the LIS profession.

Mother nature had something else in mind and due to Hurricane Irma, the conference in Puerto Rico was canceled.  Not to lose this opportunity, the same cohort was invited to use their travel stipends to attend the 3rd National Joint Librarians of Color Conference, which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in September, 2018. Seventeen LIS students were funded by the grant and attended the conference, met many new colleagues from all the American Library ethnic affiliates, and took part in a forum to learn about REFORMA, meet some of its current Executive Board members and talk about their futures as library professionals.

New Destinations in the Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of People of Color to the Library Profession was presented at the American Library Association’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in June 2019.

I asked Mrs. Tina Jarret, Director of The William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library, Hampton University to join mein this presentation.  She also is conducting research on recruitment and retention of librarians of color to the LIS profession. She received an IMLS grant, The Hampton University Forum on Minority Recruitment and Retention in the LIS Field which I was happy to attend and partake in these valuable discussions along with meeting new colleagues.

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