Our Diversity is Our Strength

OLC's Diversity Awareness and Resources Committee is responsible for recommending ways in which OLC can address diversity as it relates to the library profession in general and to the Ohio library community in particular. These aspects include age, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Through training, speakers, workshops, and publications, the Committee serves as a resource on diversity to the Council and its membership.

Latest News and Information:

ALA Announces 2011 Spectrum Scholarship winners
The Spectrum Scholarship Program provides scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students pursuing graduate degrees in library and information studies. Its mission is to improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries. Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 730 Spectrum Scholarships.
See the 2011 Spectrum Scholarship winners!

Diversity in action ideas sought for 2011 Annual Conference
For more information, and to apply, please visit ALA's website at:

ALAO Diversity Scholarship
The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) values diversity in its membership, in the profession, and in future library professionals.  For this reason, ALAO is offering a $1,500 scholarship to a promising student enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLS program who exemplifies the qualities needed to ensure a diverse library workforce.

The scholarship will be applied directly to the recipient's bursar account for tuition at his or her academic institution. As the scholarship recipient, the student will receive a complimentary registration for ALAO's Annual Conference, and at least one year of mentorship from a selected ALAO Member.

Application: Complete information and the scholarship application are available online. Completed applications should be sent by Friday, March, 11, 2011 via e-mail to: d.kolosionek44@csuohio.edu

Speaker for Black History Month

Alison R. Brown, Author, Speaker and Trainer [bio]
Phone: 866-308-7109

ASCLA's Awards
Projects focused on library services to people with disabilities: The ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award, sponsored by ASCLA, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and Keystone Systems, Inc., this award recognizes an innovative and well-organized project that successfully developed or expanded services for people with disabilities. The award can be for a specific service(s) program or for a library that has made its total services more accessible through changing physical and/or attitudinal barriers. The winner receives $1,000 and a citation provided by Keystone Systems, Inc. Download the award nomination form. *

Oustanding contributions to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped: The Francis Joseph Campbell Award honors a person or institution for significant contributions in this field of service with a medal and a citation. Contributions include but are not limited to: an imaginative and constructive program in a particular library; a recognized contribution to the national library program for blind persons; creative participation in library associations or organizations that advance reading for the blind; a significant publication or writing in the field; or imaginative contribution to library administration, reference, circulation, selection, acquisitions, or technical services. The award is administered by the Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS) of ASCLA, and is supported by Keystone Systems, Inc. Download the award nomination form. *

Cooperative, Consulting and State Library Services: The Leadership and Professional Achievement Award is a citation presented to one or more ASCLA members exemplifying leadership and achievement in the following areas: consulting, library cooperation, networking, statewide service and programs and state library development. Download the award nomination form. *

Extension and Outreach Services: The Exceptional Service Award recognizes exceptional service to patients in a medical facility, to persons who are homebound, to inmates, to older adults and to adults with a physical or mental disability who live in group homes or residences, as well as to recognize professional leadership, effective interpretation of programs, pioneering activity and significant research. The recipient receives a citation. Download the award nomination form. *

Service to ASCLA: The Cathleen Bourdon Service Award is a citation presented to an ASCLA personal member for exceptional service and sustained leadership to the division. This includes participation in activities that have enhanced the stature, reputation and overall strength of ASCLA and have also cultivated the division's relationship with other appropriate organizations, institutions or governmental agencies. Download the award nomination form.*

Those interested in submitting a nomination can download the appropriate award nomination form(s) from the awards section of the ASCLA website or request the form(s) from Liz Markel, ASCLA Marketing Specialist, via e-mail at lmarkel@ala.org. Submission information is included on each form.

*Nominations for all awards must be received by Dec. 15, 2010.

Nominations Being Accepted for Zora Neale Hurston Award
The Zora Neale Hurston Award from RUSA/CODES honors people who have demonstrated leadership in promoting African American literature through projects such as a program, display, collection building efforts, a special readers' advisory focus, or innovation in service.

The winner will receive $1,250 in funds to attend the ALA Annual Conference, tickets to the Literary Tastes breakfast and the FOLUSA Author tea, and a set of the Zora Neale Hurston books published by Harper Perennial.

The deadline for nominations is December 15th.

To nominate yourself or someone you know complete the nomination form and return with the following:

Please send nomination forms and additional documents by mail, e-mail or fax to: Cynthia Crosser, Chair, Zora Neale Hurston Award Committee.

Cynthia Crosser
Social Science and Humanities Reference Librarian
5729 Raymond H. Foger Library
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Email: cynthia.crosser@umit.maine.edu
Voice: (207) 581-3612
Fax: (207) 581-1653

You will receive acknowledgment of your submission. If you do not, please call (207) 581-3612 and leave a voicemail.

D.C. Public Library's Adaptive Services
Steve Lilienthal writes: "Kathy Gosselin, who is completely blind, sits at one of the computers at downtown D.C.'s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Suddenly, the JAWS' screen reader's metallic-sounding voice reads the text of a page about singer Tracy Chapman. A volunteer in the Adaptive Services Division of the DCPL system, Gosselin often helps the newly blind learn how to use software programs such as the JAWS screen reader."... Read more
As seen in American Libraries Direct (9/22/10)

20 Years of Assistive Technologies
Barbara T. Mates writes: "On July 26, thousands of people applauded the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandated that disabled individuals be accorded the same rights as persons without disabilities. The celebration stimulated reflection and debate on the effectiveness of the law. No consensus about success has been reached, but most people agree that despite slow and steady progress, much still remains to be done -- especially if we are to achieve true parity in the workplace."... Read more
As seen in American Libraries Direct (9/15/10)

Illinois Librarian Cited as Champion of Patrons With Disabilities
Mokena (Ill.) Public Library Director Phyllis Jacobek is the recipient of the Alexander Skrzypek Award from the Illinois Library Association for enhancing library services for people who are blind and physically disabled. Jacobek has created an assistive technology workstation believed to be the only one in a library in the county. It includes a scanner that recognizes and reads aloud all kinds of printed material, an enlarged keyboard and other print-magnification machines and software, and an electronically adjustable table and ergonomic chair to reduce fatigue and discomfort...Read more
Chicago Southtown Star, Sept. 5

As seen in American Libraries Direct (9/8/10)

Ohio Library Foundation Supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative Fri, 07/23/2010 - The Ohio Library Foundation (OLF), on behalf of all types of libraries in Ohio public, school and academic has announced its support of the Spectrum Presidential Initiative with a contribution of $1,500.  ALA President Roberta Stevens, Immediate Past President Dr. Camila Alire, ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael, and ALA Past President Dr. Betty J. Turock, chair of the initiative, continue the Spectrum Presidential Initiative as a special campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program. Through this initiative, ALA aims to meet the critical needs of supporting master's-level scholarships, providing two $25,000 doctoral scholarships, increasing the Spectrum Endowment to ensure the program's future and developing special programs for recruitment and career development. The Ohio Library Foundation's contribution will allow ALA to continue to support master's-level Spectrum Scholarships and build the Spectrum Endowment. More information...Ohio Library Foundation Supports Spectrum Presidential Initiative

1000 Voices Archive

The 1000 Voices Archive is a curated, national collection of video stories created by filmmakers and communities across the U.S. According to the site, 1000 Voices "is being presented at a critical time when our nation's ideas about social equity and community are widely being called into question. By 2009, the 1000 Voices Archive will contain the selected stories of 1000 Americans as they evoke the values they cherish most". The videos may be used in trainings and programs to spur discussion about local issues.

Serving Non-English Speakers

Serving Non-English Speakers in U.S. Public Libraries is a March 2008 report from the American Library Association. This study provides new information about library services and programs developed for non-English speakers, including effectiveness of services, barriers to library use, most frequently used services and most success library programs by language served.

Committee Purpose

The Committee is responsible for recommending ways in which OLC can address diversity as it relates to the library profession in general and to the Ohio library community in particular. These aspects include age, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Through training, speakers, workshops, and publications, the Committee serves as a resource on diversity to the Council and its membership.

Committee objectives and other information may be found on the Diversity Awareness and Resources Committee section of the OLC website.

Committee Members - 2012

Updated 8/15/12