Library and iSchool diversity committees receive grant

Kathryn La Barre
Kathryn La Barre, Associate Professor

The University Library's Diversity Committee and the iSchool's Diversity Committee are recipients of a Strategic Programs Initiative Funds grant to support programs on "Becoming a Trans Inclusive Library."

The Strategic Programs Initiative Funds are offered by the University Library's Executive Committee to support projects advancing one or more strategic directions from the Library's Strategic Framework. This grant will support a series of brown bag discussions, film screenings, and visiting speakers to raise awareness and understanding of barriers faced by trans patrons seeking library services. Parallel surveys will also be conducted to identify service and professional development opportunities to help the Library better serve the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign trans community. Project leads are Associate Professor Kathryn La Barre; Spencer D. C. Keralis, digital humanities librarian; and Cindy Ingold, gender studies and multicultural services librarian.

"We're looking forward to these programs and the conversations they generate in the Library, at the iSchool, and on our campus," said Keralis. Keralis is a member of the University Library's Diversity Committee which provides leadership and guidance to the Library by encouraging awareness about and discussions of diversity.

"I welcome this opportunity to continue fruitful collaborations between the iSchool and University Library Diversity Committees," said La Barre, chair of the iSchool's Diversity Committee. "The grant and programs it will sponsor over the next 18 months clearly demonstrate that trans individuals are important members of our community. We look forward to fostering knowledge about how to create welcoming and inclusive spaces in our libraries. The initiatives we hope to see as a result will enrich us all."

The "Becoming a Trans Inclusive Library" program will kick off with three discussion groups for University Library and iSchool faculty and staff this semester:

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