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A Call to Action

Black Lives Matter GraphicAs library leaders ponder or begin phase one of reopening facilities, it’s clear that staff will not be returning to business as usual. Black communities have been dealt double blows. The staggering racial disparities related to COVID-19 fatalities coupled with a string of hate-filled, racist murders point to continued subjugation. We remember Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others who have died needlessly from a brutal, racist social caste system. We find hope in the global response to our cry that Black Lives Matter, and an expressed universal commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression.

It’s hard to remain professional while enduring incredible, sustained heartbreak. Yet, as writer Brittany Cooper reminds us, we “must own eloquent rage as our superpower.” Professional excellence is, indeed, a form of resistance. Even in the midst of fatigue and disillusionment, we can collectively press on.

In this digest, award-winning librarian and researcher, Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, helps us understand ways of combating librarian low morale. She offers timely encouragement. And we share BCALA’s upcoming 3-part webinar series intended to inspire librarians to transfer deep-seated frustration into actionable change. There’s also a list of cognate opportunities. We hope you are all keeping well in the midst of tremendous disruption.

A Critical Moment: Libraries, Civic Engagement, & Black communities

Webinar 1: Counting Black Communities: Census 2020 & Libraries
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
2pm ET/ 1pm CT/ 12pm MT/ 11pm PT
Ana Ndumu, Ph.D. (Moderator), BCALA Board Member, Asst. Prof., UMD College Park iSchool

Robin Brown, Partnership Specialist, U.S. Census Bureau (Presenter)

Julius Maina, J.D. Partnership Coordinator, U.S. Census Bureau (Presenter)
Noel Isama, Program Analyst, Community Partnership and Engagement Program,  U.S. Census Bureau (Presenter)
2020 is proving to be a pressing year in terms of civic engagement and equality. The decennial census will shape the country's resource distribution and governance for the next 10 years. Now more than ever, libraries are needed to disrupt the longstanding trend of Black communities being undercounted. In this session, participants will learn about key library resources, ways of promoting a complete count, as well as the latest Census 2020 operations in the wake of COVID-19.

Target audience: Public, K-12, Academic, Special Librarians

Register Online

Webinar 2: Justice, Power, & Voter Engagement in Libraries
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
2pm ET/ 1pm CT/ 12pm MT/ 11pm PT

Shauntee Burns, MLIS (Moderator) BCALA President; Manager, New York Public Library
Gwendolyn Reece, MLIS (Presenter) Associate University Librarian &Director of Research, Teaching and Learning, American University Libraries
Mary Evangeliste, MLIS (Presenter) Owner, Fearless Future & Author, Letting Go of Legacy Services-ALA Publishing
In the midst of a global pandemic and widespread protests to racist killings, the 2020 U.S. presidential election poses tremendous significance for Black communities. The upcoming election presents an opportunity to change the course of our nation's history. In this session, participants will learn actionable ways of promoting voter registration and engagement in libraries. Target audience: Public, K-12, Academic, Special Librarians

Register Online
Webinar 3: What's next?: Community Conversations in a Time of Profound Trauma
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
2pm ET/ 1pm CT/ 12pm MT/ 11pm PT
Tahirah Akbar-Williams, MLIS (Moderator), Associate Academic Librarian, UMD College Park Libraries; Historian, ASAHL; 2019-2020 James Patridge Award Winner
Ashley Teagle, MLIS (Presenter), Director, Wicomico County (MD) Library System
KennethWayne Thompson (Presenter), Director, Charles Country (MD) Library System

In this final webinar in a 3-part series on civic engagement, two African American library directors will discuss how libraries can serve as brave spaces for internal and community dialog. Many are calling for unity after enduring the global pandemic and protests against ongoing racist murders across the U.S. Participants will learn ways of fostering authentic discussion and reflection in order to promote community empowerment and anti-racism. Target audience: Public, K-12, Academic, Special Librarians
Register Online
Low Morale Research Among Library Workers
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick

Kaetrena Davis KendrickKaetrena Davis Kendrick earned her MSLS from the historic Clark Atlanta University School of Library and Information Studies. Her research interests include professionalism, ethics, racial and ethnic diversity in the LIS field, and the role of communities of practice in practical academic librarianship. She is co-editor of The Small and Rural Academic Library: Leveraging Resources and Overcoming Limitations (ACRL 2016) and author of two annotated bibliographies.  

In addition to her research and writing, Kendrick also leads professional development opportunities and organizational dialogues designed to energize employee morale and promote empathetic leadership in North American libraries.  In her daily and long-term work, Kendrick has transformed library programs, services, and culture via creativity, compassion, leadership, and advocacy. In 2019, Kendrick was named the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. 
This past May, Kendrick was selected to be the Dean of Ida Jane Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections at Winthrop University. She is expected to begin her new role in July 2020. Learn more about Kaetrena's mission and activities.

As a library leader, what are strategies that you have incorporated with your library staff to dispel low morale?

My low morale research informs my practice, so the number one thing I’ve done to stave off workplace abuse and neglect – at least from inside the library – is to be as transparent as I can in my communications, including: sharing clear expectations often, asking questions, and not assuming. In addition to building trust with my co-workers, transparent communication also engenders a sense of psychological safety. This means everyone can feel comfortable sharing their concerns and offering suggestions that improve our workflows, processes, policies, programs, and services. Most of all, everyone has a part in advocating for measures that improve workplace well-being and empowerment.  Along with transparent communication, the other thing I do is actively try to model work-life balance to my co-workers – e.g., not overworking, showing temperance on work projects, etc. I also focus on the tenets of creativity to help promote empathy and focus on improvement.

Do you believe that libraries and universities overall can improve the way that they communicate and lead employees to improve employee morale? What needs to be done to truly make diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives work on college campuses? 

Communication, in general, is fraught with the possibility of “static”, so there is always room for improvement in any organization. What is needed are improved, clear policies that speak to the full realm of workplace abuse and neglect (many policies – if they exist – may only cover certain kinds of behavior or specific situations, e.g., bullying or sexual harassment). In terms of EDI, when it comes to such policies, concerns about intersectionality – which often require a person with multiple marginalized identities to give up one identity even though both are at play where a complaint/offense is concerned – should be considered and included so the health-related, social, economic, and political fullness of how these identities play out and are impacted is documented in grievance and/or legal processes.

I worked in the public library for over four years before transitioning to the academic library. I was pleased to see that you are now researching low morale in the public library setting. Are you finding more similarities or differences between public and academic libraries when it comes to employee morale? 

Yes, I recently completed my third low morale study, this one centering public librarians. Public librarians validated the general trajectory of low morale, including all previously reported abuse types and most of the Enabling Systems. They also deal with five additional enabling systems (12 total). Public librarians also revealed a new area of abuse (physical) from another group of perpetrators (library users). This is very significant. The study will be published later this year, and you can hear more results.

We are into our fourth month of librarianship in the age of COVID-19.  What are you seeing from library staff experiencing low morale during this time? 

In mid-March 2020 I started a survey to learn how library responses to COVID-19 were impacting already established low-morale experiences. My latest data reflects a participant pool that is mostly made up of librarians and archivists working in academic libraries. Just over half of library administrators canceled all library programs and services, but far fewer reduced library hours or reduced or curtailed in-person library services. Participants also indicate that as the pandemic has continued, they have experienced upticks in neglect and system abuse and that these abuses have been perpetrated mostly by library administrators. As reflected in all my studies, uncertainty & mistrust remains the most experienced Enabling System, followed closely by Leadership, and there are huge upticks in mental health impacts, including depression, anxiety, and associated conditions (e.g. panic attacks). These mental health impacts are most often specifically associated with feelings of uncertainty stemming from a lack of communication from formal library and/or organization leaders. Additionally, participants note that they have experienced vocational awe, resilience narratives (“do more with less”), and burnout while dealing with their library’s response to the Coronavirus. The survey remains open.

What recommendations do you have for librarians who have not yet found their research interest?

There is something that you care about or are wondering about – start there! It doesn’t have to be a study. First, find your writing voice. I started my industry writing/publishing with an essay about customer service. Later, as I got into my practice, my experience of teaching made me consider – and eventually, design, implement, write, and publish – my first study. It’s also ok to not know how to do research, which is often the case for many librarians since most master’s level LIS curricula do not require Research Methods courses. I learned a bit from my professor at SLIS (thank you, Dr. Debra Slone), and as I got into my practice, I learned by asking teaching faculty members and working closely with folks in a Community of Practice – that’s how I realized for sure that I am a qualitative researcher. Also, reach out to folks who are doing the kinds of research you’re intrigued by, and ask them about their process(es).

The great thing about research is that it starts with a question or observation (for me, it’s always something I see or experience that makes me think “why is that happening?” So, what kinds of questions are you drawn to? How? What? When? Where? 

Consider resources that can help you make sense of research and learn to apply it. Some places that come to mind:

Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
Scholarly Kitchen
Librarian Parlor

As an information professional, I can’t get away from also recommending books. The following really helped me hone my qualitative methodology:

Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques (Strauss & Corbin)
Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (Creswell)
Constructing grounded theory (Charmaz)

A while ago I was asked about getting published and I think the advice I offered still holds.


COVID-19: The impetus for reimagining youth librarianship
Mega Subramaniam (Associate Professor at UMD) and Linda Braun (Consultant at LEO) are facilitating weekly virtual Zoom sessions that recently started, where we will listen, co-create, and crowdsource challenges, solutions, and best practices to better serve youth during and post-pandemic. Read this article on the impetus behind this idea and indicate your interest to participate in these Zoom sessions by completing this registration and consent form

A Crash Course in Protecting Library Data While Working From Home (archived webinar)
Becky Yoose, Founder of and Library Data Privacy Consultant for LDH Consulting Services
For more information:

EDUCAUSE Institute New IT Managers Program (cost)
Designed for IT professionals new to (or aspiring to) management positions. The program covers management theory and practical techniques.
June 15-July 27, 2020
For more information:

EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2020 
Registration will open in early June.
The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is the premier convening of IT professionals and technology providers across the diverse higher education landscape.
For more information

Free on-demand videos until June 30th: 
Three free webinars on demand! No registration required; just click on the title below to start viewing:
Playing the Long Game: The Resiliency of Ordinary People Like You and Me
How to Keep Library Projects on Track: Project Management for Everyone
How to Write for the Library Press (and Make Editors Love You)

EveryLibraryInstitute (Free and Premium webinars on demand)
The EveryLibrary Institute is a companion organization to EveryLibrary the first national political action committee for libraries. The EveryLibrary Institute’s mission of research, training librarians and programmatic support for libraries is closely aligned with EveryLibrary’s mission.
For more information:

On demand webinars until June 30. Cost $25. Available for immediate download; just click on any title below to purchase.

Library Ethics: Earning Trust and Respect during Difficult Times
Presenter: Pat Wagner
Topics include a brief history of the origins of library ethics, four principles of ethics, how they are embedded in current management and governance practices, and conflicting ethical codes in the library community.
Following this webinar, you will know how to:
• Review library policies based on these four ethical principles.
• Discuss with your stakeholders one process of ethical decision-making before there is a crisis.
• Incorporate ethical standards in the library strategic plan, contracts, and job descriptions.

Stress Management for Library Staff: Real Tools for Work and Life Balance
Presenter: Steve Albrecht
Learning Objectives for this webinar include:
• Is All Stress Bad For You?
• The Business Impact of Stress
• The Personal Side of Stress
• Mind & Body Reactions
• The BREADS Stress “Cure”: Breathing - Relaxation - Exercise - Attitude - Diet - Sleep
• A Focused Relaxation Technique
• Stress and Your Body
• Making Your Bug List
• The List of Seven Choices
• Cutting Out Toxic People

Going Viral: How To Use Misinformation To Teach News Literacy
Presenter: Peter Adams
In this webinar, you’ll learn:
• Some of the major tactics that purveyors of misinformation employ;
• How to use actual examples of viral falsehoods to teach students and adult patrons alike how to be more news-literate, savvy consumers of information; and
• How to use a variety of free online tools to teach vital fact-checking skills everyone need to avoids being exploited online.

Sensory Storytime
Presenter: Jill Burket Ragase
In this interactive webinar program, Jill Burket Ragase will give you a variety of tools that you will be able to use to:
• Select program appropriate titles and activities for Sensory Storytimes
• Present and adapt programs for multiple ages/audiences as well as programming area/library sizes
• Create and deliver programs that allow children to continue learning and skill building beyond storytime.
• Enhance storytime inclusion.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior: Sources and Solutions for Library Workspaces
Presenter: Carrie Rogers-Whitehead
Participants will learn:
• How passive-aggressive behavior can be an adaptive trait and encouraged through systems at work, home or in broader society
• Signs and examples of passive-aggressive behavior
• Tips and techniques on how to reframe the behavior and deal with it appropriately whether it is coming from colleagues, patrons, or superiors
• What boundaries are and how they affect our behavior
• Role play examples to more effectively communicate

Using Outreach and Engagement to Develop Unconventional and Unique Collaborations Within Your Communities
Presenter: Megan Lotts
Through this webinar you will learn:
• More about outreach, engagement, and what it means to turn outward;
• How to create low-cost high-impact innovative programming within your own organization;
• About the Rutgers Art Library Exhibition Spaces, Pop-up Makerspaces; and
• A recent Banned Books Week celebration funded by the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Increasing Library Usage through Strategic Merchandising
Presenter: Kathy Dempsey
In this webinar, learn what merchandising is and will reveal strategies to help you do it quickly and effectively. Through pro tips and lots of photographic examples, you will:
• Learn the difference between creating displays and doing merchandising.
• Understand how the magic of merchandising can increase library usage and circulation.
• Realize what runs people off and keeps them from entering your building.
• View photos of great (and not-so-great) merchandising from libraries around the world.
• Realize how merchandising, signage, and displays affect the user experience (UX).

Emotional Intelligence for Library Leaders
Presenter: Jason Martin
This webinar will discuss the concept of emotional intelligence and the four elements of its framework: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
After viewing this webinar, attendees will be able to:
1.) Define the four elements of emotional intelligence in order to better understand the concept
2.) State the importance of using emotional intelligence in order to be better library leaders
3.) Understand how emotional intelligence can be learned in order to increase their own emotional intelligence
4.) Develop strategies to improve their emotional intelligence in order to be better library leaders

Make Your Library's Press Releases More Effective
Presenter: Kathy Dempsey
To learn how to successfully get the media to help you spread your library’s news, sign up for this webinar with Kathy Dempsey. She’s not only a library marketing maven; she’s also a member of the media who’s gotten thousands of press releases during her professional lifetime. This webinar will cover these topics:
• Writing and proofreading basics
• Press release templates
• Being newsworthy
• Forming media relationships and partnerships
• Sending Press Releases and graphics; following up
• Print vs. digital work



CARMA 2020 - Call for Posters

Freedom & Authenticity: Second Annual Interdisciplinary Conference (online)

Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed 20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note to:
Submission deadline: June 25, 2020
For more information:

Call for Chapter Proposals: ACRL book Teaching Business Information Literacy
Edited by Genifer Snipes, Ash E. Faulkner, Lauren Reiter, and Marlinda Karo
Submissions deadline: June 30, 2020
Editor Review and Notification of Acceptance: August 30, 2020
Final Version of Chapters Due: December 30, 2020
Tentative Publication Date: May 2021
Contact Genifer Snipes at with any questions or to discuss proposal ideas.
For more information:

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
Call for Papers: Special Collection: Translation, Remediation, Spread: The Global Circulation of Comics in Digital Distribution

Editors: Jonathan Evans, Kathleen Dunley and Ernesto Priego
CFP made public: May 2020
Deadline for first drafts: 30 June 2021
For more information:

Remote and Distance Teaching, Learning and Research
The conference and its publications seek to share best practices in online education, learning, research and related support, archival and referencing support. It welcomes presentations from researchers and teachers on: How they operate in the ‘online classroom, studio or lab’; how they function ‘in the field’ using the new technologies available to them; how they research and disseminate research online….. and more.
Early Abstracts: 30 June 2020
Dates: April 21-23, 2021 (Virtual)
For more information:

Call for Essays: Women and the Art and Science of Collecting: Eighteenth-Century Collecting Beyond Europe. 
Edited by Dr. Arlene Leis and Dr. Kacie Wills
Abstracts due by 1 July 2020, with case studies due by 31 October 2020 and longer essays due 1 December 2020. All inquiries should be addressed to Arlene Leis, or Kacie Wills,
Essay abstracts of 500 words and 300 word abstracts for smaller case studies are due July 1, 2020 and should be sent along with a short bio to: and 
Finished case studies will be due October 31, 2020, and long essays will be due December 1, 2020.
For more information:

Call for Contributions: Special Section of American Archivist
The section will focus on such topics as design records management, repositories, practices, content, challenges, etc. We will also feature an image from a contributing repository for the issue’s cover. 
Submissions due: July 1, 2020
Peer review feedback returned and final decisions: December 2020
Final drafts due: June 2021 
For more information:
For more detailed inquiries contact Karen Trivette,

John H. Daniels Fellowship at the National Sporting Library and Museum  
The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications for the 2021 John H. Daniels Fellowship program.  The fellowship program serves to promote awareness of, and innovative, scholarly use of the institution's unique collections focused on equestrian and field sports.
Application deadline: August 1, 2020
For more information and to apply:
Questions? Contact: Erica Libhart, Mars Technical Services Librarian, National Sporting Library and Museum, PO BOX 1335, Middleburg VA 20118. Tel. 540-687-6542 x 21. 

The Joy of Information - Special Issue of Library Trends
Guest Editors: Jenna Hartel, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, &Hailey Siracky, Director of Library Services, St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta,
This special issue of Library Trends features writings that explore the relationship between information and joy.
Manuscript Submission Deadline: August 1, 2020
September to December 2020        Reviewing by Editorial Board
January 15, 2021            Acceptances announced to authors
July 1, 2021                Revised manuscripts submitted to co-editors
November 1, 2021Final manuscripts sent to Library Trends
For more information:

The Informed Librarian Online (rolling deadline)
The Informed Librarian Online is seeking librarians with something to say to author a one-time "Guest Forum" article for our service. We are looking for practical, helpful articles on an issue of interest to YOU (and our readers). Would you like to write a short article (about 1,000 words) for us? Librarians from all around the world read the articles in The Informed Librarian Online. Writers will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the service.  
For more information: 
If you are interested in writing for The Informed Librarian Online, email a brief description of your proposed subject matter

The purpose of the Professional Development Digest is to share training and learning opportunities with BCALA members. Committee Members: Dr. Ana Ndumu & James Allen Davis, Jr., co-chairs; Nakenya Yarbough; Simone Clunie; Carla Sarratt
Copyright © 2020 Black Caucus of the American Library Association, All rights reserved.

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