Conference where I will be giving 1-hour presentation entitled, "Supporting & Advocating for Transgender and Gender-Variant People in Your Library"
First of all, MY MY does time fly! I hope 2018 has been a pleasant and productive year for all, as it has been for me. It's been a busy time in my professional life -- I've been so busy having fun, getting involved, meeting new people, and starting new jobs that I haven't had much time to set aside for blogging about my activities. However, I hate to leave readers out in the cold for too long, so without further ado, here's a very quick rundown of what's been going on in my professional life!
In semi-chronological order from 2017 to now, I started a new position at the Undergraduate Library at UNC Chapel Hill as the Reserves Processing Assistant/Evening Circulation Supervisor in March 2017. It has been an excellent environment to grow my skills, work with inspiring library professionals, and learn about new areas in which I didn't know I had an interest (like Open Educational Resources)!
I was also asked to be the alumni representative for the 2017-18 SILS Diversity Committee, which I graciously accepted. I have used my role and voice in the Diversity Committee to provide trans and queer representation, push for actionable goals, and advocate for addition of educational resources on trans-inclusive library services to the Diversity Advocate Certificate program. My hope is that by helping the SILS program and students grow their awareness around gender diversity, future generations of librarians will be more competent and confident in truly offering excellent services to all users.
Me posing at the NCLIVE booth at NCLA 2017
For all of this work and my previous work on UNC's campus advocating for and elevating the status of LGBTQ+ people (like starting an ongoing partnership between the LGBTQ Center and the Libraries, including training and recruiting people to help catalog over 2000 materials in the LGBTQ Center's Resource Library -- see my About and Qualifications pages for more), I was awarded the first-ever Faculty/Staff/Post-doc LGBTQ Advocacy Award from the LGBTQ Center on May 6, 2018. (I know this is technically out of order chronologically, but it fit best here in the storyline).
I was also awarded a State Library scholarship to attend the 2017 NCLA Biennial Conference in October 2017, my first-ever big professional conference. It blew me away how many amazing information and library professionals there are doing such great work all across NC, and I was honored to be sponsored by the State Library to attend and network with them!
Finally, I will be presenting on May 11, 2018 at the 2018 Joyner Paraprofessional Conference on supporting and advocating for trans and gender-variant people in libraries, both internally (employees, policies, etc.) and externally (inclusive language, spaces, and collections, etc.). I am very excited about this opportunity, as it's not only a chance to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart and a chance to educate more library folks on how important it is to be competent around gender diversity, but it will be my first-ever presentation at a conference. Woohoo!
That about wraps it up for now regarding the really big stuff, and I will try to update more frequently so I don't have to leave things out and squeeze exciting accomplishments into a few sentences each. That's totally my bad -- I've been too involved to have time to talk about all the work I've been doing. It's a good problem to have, I suppose.
Budding library at the LGBTQ Center of Durham - image from LGBTQ Center of Durham website, www.lgbtqcenterofdurham.org/library
In addition to my work at UNC, I have been serving on a volunteer Library Steering Committee and leading a Cataloging Subcommittee at the LGBTQ Center of Durham. I have been leading efforts to create a call number and classification system that is inclusive and representative of the communities we are serving (unlike Dewey or LC). We've put together a rough draft of classification codes and will soon be applying them to the 1300+ books already entered into the LibraryThing catalog. I hope to talk more extensively about this project later in my blog, but I will also be discussing it in a chapter I am authoring for a forthcoming book titled LGBTQ Librarianship in the 21st Century: Emerging Directions of Advocacy and Community Engagement in Diverse Information Environments, to be published by Emerald Group Publishing as part of their Advances in Librarianship Series (editor: Dr. Bharat Mehra).
Post-acceptance of LGBTQIA Advocacy Award at 2018 Lavender Graduation with Cait Kennedy, one of my nominators
(PS: I will be updating my About and Qualifications pages soon, and looking at the rest of my site for growth and stylistic change opportunities. If you have any suggestions or want to see more about something I've done, let me know via the contact form on the Contact page!)