Continuing the Conversation: Race and Social Equity in Public Libraries

October 27th, 2016 | 9 - 10 am PT | 10 - 11 am MT | 11 am - 12 pm CT | 12 - 1 pm ET


On Thursday, October 27, ULC will host a webinar, Continuing the Conversation: Race and Social Equity in Public Libraries, with leading libraries – Nashville Public Library (NPL) and Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL). During the webinar, we will feature and outline two programs that have put each library in the spotlight for creating and building awareness around equitable opportunities and treatment for all.

After building the curriculum Civil Rights in a Civil Society, Nashville Public Library caught the attention of local Metro Police Leaders and partnered to create Police and Librarians, Working on Civil Society. NPL Director Kent Oliver and Special Collections Division Manager Andrea Blackman will discuss the impetus for the program, as well as the associated activities and outreach. Participants will also learn how library leaders teach local police recruits about Nashville’s Civil Rights legacy and foster conversations about how history may impact their work today. Using NPL’s Civil Rights Room and Collection as an educational backdrop, library staff reference oral histories, photos and more to provide context and facilitate discussions about complex community dynamics.

Understanding that racial inequities are difficult to see and address in predominantly white organizations, the Saint Paul Public Library, winner of the 2016 Top Innovator for Race and Social Equity, advanced its strategies and created a racial equity assessment tool and staff training to address institutional and structural racism. As part of a citywide initiative, SPPL has been a leader in changing practices that may unintentionally discriminate in hiring, promotion and services. During the webinar, Library Director Jane Eastwood will discuss the first steps taken towards improvement, how these steps and tools impacted the staff and bolstered new training, and what they have done to refresh and change the community's culture and old way of thinking.

Join us on October 27 and learn how you can build or replicate a program that will advance racial and social equity in your community. ULC webinars last 60 minutes and with each registration, you will receive a recording to share with staff members.

For more information, please contact Colleen Bragiel at mcbragiel@urbanlibraries.org.

To register, log in to the Members Only section of the ULC website and click on "Events & Registrations" in the left hand menu. If this is your first-time logging into the ULC Members Only section, click the "Forgot your Credentials" link and enter your library/organization email address to receive a password by email.


Presenter Bio

Andrea Blackman Since 2003, Andrea Blackman has coordinated the Nashville Public Library's nationally recognized Civil Rights Room and Collection, after years of teaching and consulting in both Florida and Tennessee. During her tenure, she has led ten successful oral history projects and managed the expansion of the library's public programming. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board.
Jane Eastwood Jane Eastwood has been the Director of the Saint Paul Public Library since 2015.  Previously, she served as the Education Policy Director for Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, where she staffed and led the Mayor’s racial equity initiative from its inception and also guided afterschool, youth employment, My Brother’s Keeper and school partnership initiatives.  Eastwood was Director of External Relations and Partnerships at the Minneapolis Public Library and held executive positions at the Science Museum of Minnesota and Scholarship America, a higher education service organization.
Kent Oliver Kent Oliver has served as Director of Nashville Public Library (NPL) in Nashville, Tennessee, since 2012. Under his leadership, the city’s public library has expanded several key programs to promote early reading, adult literacy, STEM, and digital literacy. NPL has also grown its system-wide footprint under his leadership, and in 2015 received a ULC Innovation Award for sustainability for its then-new Southeast branch location. Kent has managed libraries in Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio. Just before taking leadership of NPL, he was Executive Director of the Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio. In 2009, the library won a 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service under his tenure. Kent is a strong intellectual freedom advocate. He received the Stark County Ohio Bar Association’s Liberty Bell award for defense of the First Amendment. He is a three-time President of the Freedom to Read Foundation and has also chaired the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the American Library Association (ALA). His writings on intellectual freedom and defense of the First Amendment have been published in diverse sources, including Forbes and The Tennessean.

Registration Fees

Members: $150/1st *site and $50/ea. additional site (recording included)
Non-Members: $225/1st *site and $50/ea. additional site (recording included)
*A landline (audio) and an internet connection (visual) are both needed for real-time event participation.

If your organization does not register for a ULC webinar, members may purchase the recording post-webinar for $150.