Posts in topic: diversity

Three lessons for launching successful multilingual programs at your library

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 67.3 million Americans speak a language other than English at home, a number that has more than doubled since 1990. That’s a huge number with powerful implications for social institutions, including libraries. For many of us, getting started serving those communities feels like an overwhelming task. I’m here to tell you—you can do it. And you can start today to make a significant difference for your community with multilingual programming.

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Celebrating 20 years of the IFLA/OCLC Fellowship Program

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Who would have imagined that the program announced at the 1999 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Thailand would have such an incredible, far-reaching impact? That’s exactly what the Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellowship, an education and professional development program for early career librarians from developing countries, has done. Twenty years later, the program has realized the potential noted by Jay Jordan, OCLC’s fourth President and CEO, in the program’s inaugural announcement, “to positively affect individuals, their institutions, their countries, and the global knowledge management practices of the future.”

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Progress and patience: Increasing female participation in technical conferences

Karen Coombs

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The Code4Lib Conference is an informal group of library technologists that attracts international participation. While it’s an awesome learning and professional community, it also has had the same gender diversity challenges and opportunities as many other technology events and groups. When the Code4Lib Conference first started in 2006, I was one of five women out of 80 attendees, and of the 17 presenters that year, only one was female.

Now the nearly 450 attendees at the event are much more equally divided by gender. Around 40% of our community identifies as female, and at the 2017 conference, 43% of the speakers were female.

I’m proud of the improvements we’ve made, and I think if we continue to focus on a few key activities, we’ll see even more progress.

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