Edith Beckett, Nicole Cooke, and Hannah Kwon are the panelists involved in “Diversity in Research and Practice: What Have We Learned and How Do We Move Forward?” They will be speaking in session 8C. You can read the abstract here.
1) What do you hope people gain from your presentation and/or panel? Our goal for the session is to begin a conversation that will help LIS researchers and practitioners, with an interest in diversity, come up with ideas that we can use to extend our current stock of diversity knowledge. We are doing this because we think that extending our knowledge base increases our chances of achieving a truly diverse profession, one that better reflects the populations we serve.
2) Are there one or two articles or websites you think attendees would benefit from reading before attending your session? We would recommend that people take a look at ALA’s Diversity Counts website. This site has reports and presentations that provide data on some of the key issues relating to diversity within the profession.
3) What do you enjoy most about presenting to a crowd with such broad interests (practitioners, researchers, students, librarians, archivists, info tech, etc)? The audience for this conference was an especially good fit for us as a group, because our interests in the topic of diversity in librarianship range from the very practical, e.g. what does diversity look like in our libraries, to theoretical concerns about LIS curriculum and its role in perpetuating the status quo in librarianship. We are excited about the opportunity to interact with a multifaceted audience, and are also looking forward to facilitating a discussion with both researchers and practitioners about diversity within the profession.
4) How did you get interested or develop this research topic/project or panel topic? The idea for this panel came from discussions that Hannah, Nicole, and Edith had after presenting separately at a conference in June 2009. We felt that while existing LIS research had clearly articulated, and even resolved some of the problems related to diversity, we had no real sense of the future direction of this research. We thought it would be really useful to have a conversation with a larger and more diverse group of people with an interest in diversity research to get their thoughts on the future of this line of research.
5) Where or to whom do you see your research/panel being most useful, implementable, or interesting? We think this discussion would be of interest people currently doing research on diversity because it would provide an opportunity to discuss their research with people who share this interest. We also think this discussion would be of interest to people interested in supporting and promoting diversity within librarianship because it could provide them with an opportunity to hear about current research and to contribute their knowledge and experiences.
6) If you have collaborated on your research or project, how has that collaboration assisted and possibly changed the development of your work? The preparation for this panel was our first collaborative effort. We found that while we have different areas of interest, our approaches to research are complementary. Working together we believe we have developed the framework for a more comprehensive discussion of diversity in librarianship than any of us would have been able to do as individuals.