News from the Libraries
Mapping Prejudice resumed working with community-based volunteers scanning deeds for racial covenants, offered 25 public presentations, and added a role as an official observer for a Uniform Law Commission process to create model legislation related to discharge or removal of historical racial covenants.
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, And Accessibility (IDEA)
Many individual staff, committees, and departments engaged in IDEA initiatives at various levels through-out the year. A few highlights include:
- A new all-gender restroom was built and opened on the ground floor of Elmer L. Andersen Library;
- The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Committee worked with an outside consultant to conduct an IDEA climate assessment survey for Libraries staff, the results of which have been shared, discussed, and acted upon at many levels;
- The Libraries co-sponsored a system-wide Global Accessibility Awareness Day; The Libraries Accessibility Steering Committee released additional role-based training pathways to support digital accessibility education; and,
- A staff Anti-racism Community of Practice continues to meet monthly.
—DEI Leadership Committee
Three new AULs join the Libraries
Three new Associate University Librarians started in summer 2022. Each one brings a large measure of enthusiasm to their roles. Dean Lisa German told staff: “I am so excited about our new leadership team. They are working together in ways that I had hoped — and beyond.”
Jody Gray, AUL for Research, is the only one among them who has previously worked at the U of M Libraries. She also served in diversity director roles with the American Library Association, and at the U’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS).
Gray is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, from South Dakota. She brings that lens to her work with faculty, students, and staff involved in Libraries research.
Evangela Q. Oates, Ph.D., AUL for Student Success, comes to Minnesota from New York. She finds parallels in their iconic rivers, the Mississippi and the Hudson, and major divides between urban and rural.
Frameworks for her approach to student success are 1) fostering a sense of belonging and 2) mattering.
Oates also would like to see more connections between students, particularly Black, indigenous, and students of color, and their communities in the Twin Cities. The U and its Libraries collaborating in new ways with community colleges also may help students navigate higher education.
L. Angie Ohler, AUL for Collections and Content Strategy, appreciates the U of M Libraries long, strong history of partnerships, such as the Big Ten Academic Alliance. “Where you have strong partnerships between libraries, you have opportunities to change the landscape for the better,” Ohler says.
She is glad to be here as part of a new team, under Dean Lisa German. “Sometimes the impetus for change can happen so much more quickly when you have people with new lenses looking at things.”
Promoted to Associate Librarian:
- Lisa Calahan
- Lois Hendrickson (with continuous appointment)
- Jennifer McBurney (with continuous appointment)
- Emma Molls (with continuous appointment)
Promoted to full Librarian:
- Megan Kocher
- Mary Miller
- Erik Moore