Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Board Meeting

This week I had the very cool and exciting opportunity to meet with the IUPUI University Library (UL) board. At first I was super, super nervous. But, when I got to the meeting I definitely relaxed. The atmosphere was friendly and inviting and most importantly the information I received was really interesting. I got an amazing opportunity to meet some of the UL board members who are all very influential in the Indianapolis community and the meeting was really inspirational.

I know, I know, that sounds really corny but I am telling the truth. IUPUI's Dean of Faculties, Dr. Sukhatme, spoke to the board about some ongoing initiatives for the IUPUI student and faculty population. He emphasized the importance of service and research for both students and faculty. He also talked about the university's desire to promote international study opportunities for the students. His talk really got me think about some of my goals in general and some of my goals as a Diversity Fellow.

For me diversity is about awareness: learning, knowing and understanding others to the best of your ability. I think that the initiatives that IUPUI has set forth are very similar to what I hope to do through this fellowship. Too often, I believe, diversity is something that people try to achieve unnaturally. What I mean by this is that often times people try to mend the wounds of the historic cultural disparities in this country by superficially addressing the problem. We approach one another's differences from the outside, as if the value of another's cultural heritage is nothing more than an accessory to our own.

I have to say that this approach to diversity is better than no approach at all, but I am happy to say that it seems like IUPUI is offering more experiential opportunities for cultural exploration. I think if we try our best to experience other cultures we will start to see that are similarities outweigh our differences. Who knows maybe then we will become more sensitive to and respectful of the humanity that binds us all...
just a thought

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fellowship Succcess

Before and after I was selected as a Diversity Fellow, I felt in the dark as to what responsibilites the position would hold. After working for a few weeks, Ashley and I have dived head-first into action. We have been introduced to so many people that work here at the library.....and it was overwhelming (especially trying to remember names). I was excited when we were given the "go" to take over the display cases in the library, collaborating with one another (Ashley and I). This month we were to create a display for GLBT History Month! I feel that our unique individual creativity is excellent, and I love the way our ideas - which are different - can be pieced together to flow as one. I am so happy because today we have finished the displays. And I say this with honesty - it took longer than I thought. It took much research and some public relations. Through this process I have met professors, students and campus organizations from IUPUI that support GLBT and its many causes. I was also able to contact national organizations and other university organizations that support GLBT. I hope that through out the year, and in the future, I can go to all these people and organizations if I need any information or help. And vice-versa.

**Please take time to check out our efforts! It's at the first floor of the library by the new coffee kiosk and mini cafe area! You can't miss it.

Also, just in these few weeks Ashley and I have worked in the digitization lab in the basement of the library. Some of the procedures I am familiar with...and some I have learned while being there. I never used or played around with Photoshop before, and being in the digi lab gave me some experience. It is pretty cool because the lab scans very old articles, papers, artifacts, etc. in order to digitize it and post it on their digital database (which you can find on the university library's website). Right now I believe Blake and others are working on a project for Crispus Atticks school (I hope I have spelled this right!) They are scanning all their year books so as to make them digital!

I've also been introduced to those that work in the Special Archives and Collections department. People, you should go to the basement of the library and check out their most recent display in the lobby. It is's for the Future Farmers of America (FFA), I believe. Also, check out their displays inside the Special Collections room.....pretty neat stuff.

This week I was able to work a little with the External Relations department - and I am pretty excited about this! My major is journalism, with focus in pr, so I am excited to learn more experience with what goes on in this department! Ashley and I will be helping the team with planning of the book fair, which will be in the spring. So....stay tuned!

Oh, our cubicle neighbor rocks! =D

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What is the ULIB Diversity Fellowship?

When I applied for the Diversity Fellowship UL (University Library IUPUI) the first thing I wanted to know was "exactly what is the Diversity Fellowship". After working in the UL for the past three weeks, I am finally starting to understand what our (the Diversity Fellows - myself and Trina) job is.

There are basically two parts to our job, innovation and support. Innovation is a fancy way for me to describe the part of our work that has to do with coming up with diversity initiatives and projects that have to do with Trina and myself reaching out to the campus community.

Our first major project was to create a display for GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans-gender) History month. In order to create this display we not only used the library to do research, but we also reached out to several different campus organizations.

In the future, besides continuing our series of displays, Trina and I hope to be in contact with campus organizations in order to help them learn ways that the UL can help them complete their own projects. By doing this we hope to make the UL a place that is more reflective of the diversity of the student population.

The support portion of our job is just what it sounds like. When we are finished with our own projects. We are encouraged to help librarians do their work. In the short three weeks that we have been here, we have worked in several different areas of the library including the digitization lab, special collections (the team that without which our display would have never been more than a good idea) and external relations.

Helping these librarians with their projects not only helps us become more familiar with how the library works, but it allows us to offer the librarians our own unique student perspectives...

So far the fellowship has been a really cool experience...I will keep you posted throughout the year on our latest and greatest adventure.

Be well,