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LIS 950: Libraries and community

The purpose of this seminar is to explore an important topic in library and information studies in depth — in all its intertwined historical, cultural, philosophical, and political aspects — through a graduate reading/discussion seminar. The topic varies each time the course is taught; this time around, we will focus on "libraries and community"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

responses this week on diversity

It happens almost every time that I come into post something here and I get sidetracked by reading the other posts . . . hey, which is a good thing! This issue of diversity does seem to be a little narrow in scope. I do think that it is extremely important to make sure that various ethnic populations are represented but what I thought about as I was reading these articles was the term diversity. In my mind this represents ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, learning style/preference, ability/disability, socio-economic standing . . . etc. It is a larger list. After reading Barbara's comments:

How about diversity in other respects. Such as sexual orientation? disability status? age? religion, even? It seems to me that there are many kinds of diversity and our profession is concentrating on just one kind.

I went back and re-read the Dain article and found the following:

. .. the Librarian who works with the blind: a group almost entirely dependant on the library. . . The Library for the Blind's teacher made in 1915, a year of "unprecedented activity" 476 visits to blind persons, gave 280 lessons in Braille and exchanged 318 books . . .

I did find this very encouraging. I would love to know the Librarian's name. 476 visits and 280 lessons is a huge amount to be delivered by one person. There should be a scholarship or award in that person's name for the dedication and time spent serving this population of the library.

I was also (wish I had time to look in more detail) struck by the persons with color in LIS programs and wondered how this compared to other disciplines AND how the scope of this research was narrowed to race.

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