Saturday, May 2, 2020

Being Trauma-Informed During a Pandemic: Webinar Archive and Other Links

A few weeks ago, Emporia State put out a call to people who were going to present at the Oregon Library Association's annual conference to see if we'd be willing to turn our workshops into webinars. I had a great preconference in the works with a former student from my Disability Community in the Library course, but that wouldn't fit into a 40-minute webinar. I instead proposed a webinar on "WTF is happening to your brain", and was accepted. I figured I'd piece together a couple of other resources I made and bam! Easy-peasy.

HAHAHAH welp, the VERY last thing my brain wanted to let me do during a pandemic was write about dealing with trauma during a pandemic. 
If you need a transcript of the webinar for personal use, feel free to email me at brycekozla at gmail.

I only practiced it once before the live viewing, and I don't think I'll be revisiting it anytime soon. If you watch it and want to process it with someone, please do that with someone who is not me unless you know me personally, thanks. I've talked before about the power of validation before and as much as I appreciate where this is coming from, I need to invest my energy in specific places right now. (this is not for people who have already reached out to me, because this is a boundary I didn't set until right now. Thank you)

I'll talk about less heavy stuff all day though. Have you heard about Fostering Readers

One thing I wanted to make sure to say plainly because I didn't in my presentation: the pandemic is hitting BIPOC communities harder than white communities. There is also a lot of historical trauma and institutional oppression rearing its head for many marginalized communities when dealing with work, government benefits, and hospitals.This is NOT the time to say that equity and inclusion is not a priority. They are CENTRAL to the health of your staff and community. ALL of the time.

I wanted to make sure to share some links that were mentioned in the presentation:

I also wanted to be sure to highlight some other wonderful resources:
"Pandemic! Productivity! Life! Hacks!" (the title is a little tongue-and-cheek)

Thank you so much for your interest in this webinar. Hang in there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

WTF Is Happening to Your Brain and What You Can Do About It

There's been something I've been thinking about a lot lately but haven't really had the energy to talk about it in any comprehensive way.

I still don't think I'm going to, because investing energy where it needs to go is incredibly important right now. But I will say this:

Visiting this blog, right here, right now, I am allowing you the space to admit and accept that what we're going through is a stressful and potentially traumatizing situation.

People are different. Two people can experience the exact same thing and one can emerge traumatized and the other unscathed.

One thing that might help right now is knowing what might be going on with your brain and central nervous system. The following is something I shared yesterday with friends and family. It's based on the training I received from Trauma-Informed Oregon, which led to me to create a unique introductory course in Trauma-Informed Care that is library-specific. It's not a lot but I hope it helps.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Why "What Happened to You?" Isn't Trauma-informed

I just finished up my first run of my Trauma-Informed Care: An Introduction for Libraries course.

I hope to run it again next year, but something came up that I felt I should clear up.

There are a lot of different training opportunities lately coming at trauma in the library at different angles.

Quite a few of them start attempting to shift thinking about trauma with the notion that trauma-informed care "seeks to shift the clinical perspective from 'what’s wrong with you' to 'what happened to you'". I can't pinpoint the origin of this quote, but it's been used by such respected organizations as SAMHSA.

This phrase, quite deliberately, does not appear in any of my training materials. That's because I don't believe it's true.

title text in black on a blue and green background

At its most basic, I can understand what this is trying to do: make people who have not experienced trauma that has reshaped their brains start to blame circumstance rather than the people themselves when they have a frustrating interaction. Apparently, wondering what happened to someone is supposed to build empathy so we can act more compassionately.

I humbly submit that thinking this way can have the opposite impact, and instead can inspire pity and possibly resentment. I also contend that asking this question isn't trauma-informed, and is potentially harmful. It also assumes that library staff do not have backgrounds in trauma, which is not universally true.

To demonstrate how this framing might be problematic: here's how a person whose brain has been rewired to expect stress might answer these questions, speaking from experience:

Monday, September 16, 2019

New Course this Fall! Trauma-Informed Care: An Introduction For Libraries

As long-time readers may recall, I've been interested in and studying topics related to trauma since I first learned about the Adverse Childhood Experiences study in 2013.  I've written a lot related to trauma since, and to be quite honest my research has transformed the way I approach my work, as well as my relationships to other people and the world in general. In April 2018, I was chosen by Trauma-Informed Oregon to be trained as a community trainer, and have developed and delivered library-specific training to local library staff, which has been well-received.

So I'm so pleased to announce that I will be running the course:
Trauma-Informed Care: An Introduction for Libraries through UW-SLIS Continuing Education, November 4-December 15, 2019! Register before October 20 for a 10% discount!

Like my past, well-reviewed courses, this course is designed to have an extremely reasonable workload and will be a mix of reflection, action, and tips you can use right away. The class is asynchronous, which means we won't be meeting live and you can engage with each week's content when you can. Each week there will be one or two discussion questions. There will be final project that will consist of anything that will help you going forward (a presentation to your board, a letter to your director, a blue print, something else? It's up to you!).

As always with my courses, you're welcome to download all the material to share among others in your library, so I hope you will see this as a good investment.

I've said on Twitter previously that preparing for this course has made my Disability Community in the Library course feel like Sunday brunch. Like that course, Trauma-Informed Care: An Introduction for Libraries is steeped in my lived experience and so may be different from other training you may have gotten about these concepts.

Here's some of the topics we'll cover:

Monday, July 22, 2019

It's here! Fostering Readers, a FREE Toolkit to Support Beginning Readers

[Bryce note: everyone, I AM PUMPED. After some dreaming and scheming over email and in a coffee shop in NE Portland back in 2016, my coworker Katie and I have been co-project-managers on an LSTA grant-funded initiative to help library and afterschool staff all over boost their programming, support, and confidence with beginning readers in grades K-3 (learn more about our story and our amazing team here). 

I cannot even tell you what this means to me.

So here is the official press release.]

Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) and OregonASK are thrilled to announce the Fostering Readers resources are available to download and use in whatever way that makes sense for your library. These resources are designed to help you plan and implement fun research-based literacy programs for children in K-3rd grade who are learning to read.

Two children reading under a tree

We recruited two children’s librarians and two elementary reading specialists, two of whom are bilingual, to develop the Fostering Readers resources. The materials were tested and updated through a pilot project. All the resources are available at no cost to you on the Fostering Readers website. Resources include:

 Pre-made activity plans to get you started supporting K-3rd grade beginning readers

Ideas for passive programming and storytimes and book clubs for beginning readers

Handouts for parents and caregivers to encourage reading at home

Videos that introduce research-based key elements and key strategies to enrich your K-3 activities with literacy

An extensive research review with easily digestible key findings and implications

…and more!

To accommodate our large and growing population of Spanish-speakers, Fostering Readers handouts are available in both English and Spanish. In the materials, library and afterschool staff will find tips for working with families who speak languages other than English, and Spanish vocabulary to use with the activities.

 Preview some of the research-based key elements and strategies with these video playlists (just kidding they don't link to the playlists here they are:
Key Strategies
Key Elements):

We hope that these materials will help library and afterschool staff:

Increase their knowledge of the reading process
Feel more confident in supporting children who are learning to read and their families
Plan, implement, and evaluate fun research-based literacy programs for children in K-3rd grade

Libraries and afterschool programs are essential community partners in the effort to increase the number of children reading at grade level by the end of third grade, which is a key indicator for high school graduation.

We are proud to provide you with Fostering Readers materials to champion this important work.

Fostering Readers is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon.

Friday, May 31, 2019

A Rambling Ode to Summer Reading

Summer Reading starts here this weekend! My job doesn't include staffing a public service desk or anything, so I mostly spend my summer working on special projects to clear out to-do lists and set us up well for Quarter 2, which starts in September. I'll also do the occasional storytime subbing or tabling event.
Bryce wearing purple glasses, caught talking mid-sentence. Bryce consequently has a silly face
I cannot WAIT to tell you about what this screenshot is from
(I also figured out alt-text on Blogger!)

This year I am PRETTY PUMPED because my coworkers and I recently opened a request form for the local libraries to have us visit for whatever they'd like to talk about or show us and our local staff BROUGHT IT. So far, we've talked about collection development and dreamed big about scalable projects. This summer, I'll get to staff a station at a reading camp (stations-based programming was my jam for awhile) and help at other events. Next Friday I'm even shadowing a floor shift afterschool during Summer Reading.

One weird thing about my job: it's great for someone who loves youth services librarianship but doesn't like anything about actually being a youth services librarian. I don't think I'll ever be there, and I still miss a lot about SRP. I figured I'd share here something I wrote about it last year. It was in one, long, rambling comment, so I'm breaking it up:

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Creating a Trauma-Informed Presentation

Back in April of last year, I was one of 17 participants selected as part of a community cohort to be trained by Trauma-Informed Oregon on trauma-informed care. The intent of these train-the-trainer workshops was for participants to take the material and make it specifically relevant to our organizations/industries. Knowing that libraries are "a helping profession" and that many of us come into with backgrounds in trauma, I wanted to make my delivery of this content as trauma-informed as possible.

Last week, I held two "countywide conversation" sessions to introduce the concept of trauma-informed care to local staff. It was an in-person iteration of some of the internal Trauma-Informed Care training modules I created and posted on our extranet. A flipped-classroom model, I reasoned, would help staff process the material on their own before having to talk to anyone about it, and the sessions would allow room for discussion for those who'd want to talk about. I also prepared a presentation to introduce the material for these sessions, in the likely event that a staff person would want to attend but not have time to view the referenced modules beforehand (or would need an in-person intro to understand how trauma-informed care is meaningful to our work).

Having attended plenty of conference sessions that didn't take their own advice over the years, I set out to make this presentation as trauma-informed as possible.

Here are some considerations I made in order to achieve this goal. You might want to try them out for even unrelated presentations!

Registration recommended, not required: It's trauma-informed to have registration, so I could anticipate how many people would attend and plan accordingly. I also wanted to make it okay, however, for staff to feel like they could drop in without crashing the party (also trauma-informed). We got 30 registrations, and we ended up with 30 participants-- though, some registrants couldn't attend in the end, and some attendees didn't register. At the time I started planning, I had 22 registered and planned for 40 (so maybe +25-75% attendance if you wanted to try this).

  • I also sent out a Doodle Poll before I opened registration so I could gauge the interest in all parts of the county. The hope was that the highest amount of people who wanted to attend could be able to, and not have to travel across the county to do so. I didn't catch everyone this way, but I was able to do my best to make sure the locations were equitably chosen around the county.
  • Registration was open for two weeks, with a reminder a week before. The registration email included a registration link, location and links to Google Maps of the locations, and the agenda with approximate times. If we had the time I might have opened the registration for longer, but we were butting up against local summer planning as it was.
  • Reminder email to attendees: I collected the email addresses of registered attendees, and sent out an email to them the Monday of the sessions. I thanked them for registering, and then set out some expectations: there will be snacks but feel free to bring your favorite snack or drink; knitting and other fidgeting is welcome; and to dress however they felt best (whether that be sneakers or a suit).
Coloring sheets and fidget toys: I had ordered a box of assorted fidget toys online, but they hadn't arrived in time for the sessions. So I printed off some coloring sheets and brought some crayons to help attendees mitigate stress and process information. The coloring sheets and fidget toys now live in a basket in our conference room, and I'm intending to bring them to every meeting I can remember to bring them to!

Voice Amplifier: A few months ago I got a voice amplifier and I thought this would be a great place to try it out-- in meeting rooms with possible ambient noise. I'm blown away by how inexpensive it was and how good it works. I get not wanting to hook yourself up to a surround sound system for a few people (and yes, social anxiety is a real thing and no, introversion and social anxiety are not the same). Not only it is an accessible practice to wear a mic (calm down, abled people, please don't be self-righteous about the one thing you're actually committing to); once you do get into practice of it you'll realize just how noisy the rest of the world inside meeting rooms truly is. Best part about a voice amplifier for small gatherings is you just have to hook yourself and go, and if you DO have social anxiety you can turn it up enough to where everyone can hear but you don't "sound like you're on a mic", which could help with comfort.

Housekeeping at the beginning of the presentation: Things like duration, reminders, or behavior expectations (it's okay to stand or walk around, etc). Apologies but I do not care at all if the same Library Thought Leaders who hate powerpoint find a short introduction that includes housekeeping boring and I "lose" them. I care more about "losing" staff who may literally not be able to process information without knowing where the exits are and it's okay to leave; or staff whose stress response is activated and are at risk of disassociating and take solace in knowing the exact amount of time remaining before they don't have to heavily employ coping mechanisms if they want to stay. People with backgrounds in trauma are in your presentations too.
  • Icebreakers: if you have to have one, send it ahead of time. That way everyone is listening to everyone else and not worrying about what they'll say when it's their turn.
Choice, choice choice: Plan participatory options into your session and refer to them. No mandatory participation. No "you have to work with someone you don't know very well." Make it okay to say "pass."

These tips are more poignant for heavier topics, but could be useful for any presentations. As trauma-informed care tells us:
-we have no idea what it took (in the day, in the life) to get a person in front of us, and plenty of people have acute stress responses we might not even guess
-EVERY consideration we make is an opportunity for re-traumatization or healing. We may as well try to be healing!

(also, creating a presentation that's accessible can also be trauma-informed.)

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Investing Energy: Staying on Top of Things

My best laid plans the past few years have always seemed to hit snags. For instance: this is my first real blogpost since my blog address change. BDP officially closed on December 31. I had intended to write a heartfelt send-up for the readers who have been around since the beginning. My plans were thwarted, however, as I had to work on investing energy in a large-scale way   as I worked through the following things in the past 6 months:

-A car accident involving a man-hole cover flying at my car soon after my 36th birthday (as if my feelings about my birthday aren't complicated enough, the Final Destination-ness of this event stuck with me longer than I care to admit).
-My spouse's 16-year-old cat, Stubbins, nearly dying three days before Christmas (Caleb stayed home last minute to care for him). We've decided to not pursue any further intervention care.
-My parked car being involved in a second accident, this time with a U-Haul on New Years Day. It was nearly totaled, which meant we would spend another year with one car between us; which has become increasingly untenable. The auto body shop was able to find a way to keep the cost just low enough for us to keep it, which I am so grateful for.

Add to this my day and weekend work: At my day job, I was trained as a trainer with Trauma-Informed Oregon and I worked on extensive learning modules based on trauma-informed care (keep an eye out for an online course coming soon that will NOT use these modules but will address related topics); and in my "free" time I created presentations and ran a course on the Disability Community in the library. Usually, I'm able to enjoy vastly different work between my day job and my side stuff. At one point a few months ago, I had just finished writing about  historical trauma and institutional oppression; the next day I walked to the coffee shop and opened up my laptop to a slide that just said: "Disabled People are Burdens."

Yeah, it's been fun.

Through all this I'm thinking about stuff I've put in place in order to mitigate particularly stressful situations and stay on top of things. It's really a huge deal for me; and even though I don't have everything under control at all times, I thought I'd share some things that have helped:

-Got my meds right: yes, again. It's a process.

-Have one notebook where EVERYTHING lives: I first got this idea from Shawn Brommer, who presented on her organizational style at the 2015 ILEAD Wisconsin workshop. One thing I've definitely borrowed from her style is writing down things I've accomplished that didn't make my to-do list but I accomplished anyway. My notebook has become such a mainstay in my my office that my boss and two of my coworkers also carry them around everywhere.

Various college ruled notebooks, dated to indicate the timeframe each one contains.

-Mark emails on my to-do list: and I don't cross them off until I hit send. Emails can sometimes be easy things to do, though I have a tendency to write them and forget to send them until later. Meds help, but marking them with a little box on the side of my to-do list can alert me to do things I can do to keep things going. If I don't have much time at my desk one day, it's often more important to get emails out in order to keep projects moving than trying to work on a larger project.

-Question why I'm putting something off: I recently have been reading more about procrastination as it's related to anxiety, and it really makes a lot of sense to me. If I'm feeling particularly willful about a task, I do my best to reflect on why that is, and engage in a short de-stress exercise in my toolkit, and it's usually enough to get over it and get started. Way more often than not, interestingly enough, the anxiety is left over from past toxic work environments; I can acknowledge that my anxiety about a task is valid, but is not useful in a work environment in which I feel relatively safe. Reaching out to coworkers to help me remember this has been especially helpful through change.

-Install web tools to increase focus: random web usage when I'm putting stuff off has been common for me, particularly anymore on the weekends. When I'm having a  hard time reeling in my work-related anxiety, I actually find it soothing (though COMPLETELY UNPRODUCTIVE, to be fair) to Google the same things over and over again. At one point several years ago, my anxiety was particularly about my place in the world outside of my workplace, which I assumed (irrationally, I know) I would die at before I had the opportunity to leave. Consequently, the thing I Googled the most was, like, my own name. My own self-preservation had completely taken over. To disrupt this tendency anymore, I use tools like Block Site. Seeing the block screen is often enough for me to engage in a de-stress activity and rededicate my brain.

-Write things down as a I remember them: As I go through the week, occasionally my mind will wander in a meeting or on non-work time and I remember something that I need to do. I'll either email the idea to myself, or write it in the margins of my notebook with a big star. At the beginning of the next week, all big-starred and emailed items are added to my to-do list.

-Have meeting days and non-meeting days where possible: this is a hugely useful change I'm moving toward thanks to my coworker Katie. I'm sure I'm not alone in that my brain works differently at meetings versus at my desk, and it can be tough to transition if meetings are scattered throughout the week. While scattered meetings are not completely unavoidable, I try to find at least one day every two weeks where there are no meetings scheduled, and rope off that time on my calendar. This is time to dig into large projects and catch up.

Staying on top of things can be overwhelming especially when life goes pear-shaped. But it's been powerful to figure out a system that works for me in a job as varied as the one I've got.

What are some things that help you stay on top of things?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Webinar Archive! From Access to Advocacy: The Disability Community in the Library

Content note: some lies we learn about disability are named here. They are not true, but they can be tough to read.

Today I had the pleasure of presenting "From Access to Advocacy: The Disability Community in the Library", a webinar hosted by LibraryLinkNJ (they have an awesome free archive of continuing education, by the way!)

Picture of Bryce, a person with large teal glasses and curly hair, smiling. Text includes the the title of the webinar, date and time, and the sponsorship information. Thanks to LibraryLinkNJ.
They added this title card and I may have sent a picture of it to my sister.

The webinar was structured by digging through three of the overarching lies about disability that are embedded in our dominant culture. A few years ago I became aware of the term "the abled narrative" to describe these lies as a whole; I cannot pinpoint an exact origin but I credit Twitter user @EbThen for my introduction to the phrase.

I came up with these specific examples of lies when writing the introduction to my related course. I sat down and made a long but non-exhaustive list of all of the messages I had learned and internalized over the years through media depictions and reinforced through...well, generally living as a person with a disability. These are messages not only disabled people internalize, but abled people as well. And that's one place where we can get stuck with not prioritizing accessibility.

Once I wrote out my list, I reorganized it to find three overarching themes. Note that these are not particularly thoughts anyone actively has every day about disability, but these are threaded into the fabric of our society and can impact our interactions, reactions, and even how and when we consider disabled people as patrons or workers:

Monday, December 10, 2018

How and When Should I Step In To Help a Disabled Person?

One of the things that has always intrigued me about abled people* is their absolute, unwavering awkwardness when encountering PWD. I mean, I code as abled particularly in social situations, and like the literal second a random person I'd been talking to learns I'm disabled it just. Gets. Awkward. It's not like I intentionally hide the fact either. I literally wear it on my sleeve occasionally with one of fashionable tops I've acquired to support disabled artists.

Perhaps you're wondering what this has to do with the title of this post. I say this not to shame but to share this reality. If this is you-- hey, you're not alone!

I feel the need to preface this post as such because: no matter whether, when, or how you step in to assist a person with a disability, the interaction should be about what they need and not how you feel about it. I understand that there is some warm-fuzzies you get from helping people at all. But as we've talked about before, the abled narrative can make these types of interactions with disabled people much more feelings-based than others. You might say or do the wrong thing along the way. That can be annoying but don't let that keep you from helping. Remember, also, that everyone needs help at one time or another; and since disabled people are human beings just like abled people are, we sometimes need help. That's it.  As you follow through the considerations below, prioritizing the actions and not the feelings around the action can help you get out of your head with the whole thing.

When it comes to helping people with disabilities you see appear to be struggling, three competing narratives are at play:
1. This Person is Working to Overcome their Disability and I Mustn't Interrupt Their Journey!
2. I am Uncomfortable Watching this Person Live their Life and Need to Intercede!
3. If I Help This Person, What If They Find it Offensive?

One glaring problem in these competing narratives is there is only one of three that actually involves helping someone, and it's putting your feelings first and placing judgment on a another human being.

If you've been following these posts I hope you see that #1 is a lie. No random disabled person you encounter ever had an epiphany because you watched them from afar for 20 minutes and then maybe clapped**. Sorry to disappoint.

As for PWD finding help offensive: first, it depends, so read on. Second, if it is, you are probably the 20th person to similarly offend them and are probably the least of their concerns. We want to get on with our lives just like you.

The title of this post is a question I get a lot. If you'll indulge me, I'm going to go into two types of interactions I've had recently, that actually happened within seconds of each other. Guess which one I was more put-off by, as a disabled person:

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Can't Miss: Sessions at ALA Midwinter!

The ALA Midwinter meeting is my favorite of any national conference I've been to. I can't really tell you why. But I do know that the Symposium on the Future of Libraries is happening for a third year!!

Midwinter is back in Seattle this year, like my first Midwinter when I was a 2013 ALA Emerging Leader. I'll probably have some reflections on that later on. (I remember bringing my spouse because we were like, "when will we ever have a reason to go to the Pacific Northwest ever again?" And now we live here? So.)

Bryce's Facebook status from 2011. Text reads,
"you may never impress anyone. what will you do instead"? <sic>

The image above is a Facebook memory I received while at last year's Midwinter meeting. I had to laugh when it passed by on my notifications as I attempted to navigate the terrain of the exhibit hall, which always feels loud and bright and can be disorienting. Thanks, Past Me. You're a real peach.

Here are some Symposium sessions that I'm particularly excited about. Might be worth adding to your schedule!


Breaking Down the Barriers to Advocacy for School Libraries
Deborah Rinio, Adjunct Instructor, University of Alaska Fairbanks; Ann Ewbank, Director, School Library Media Certificate, Montana State University; Jenna Nemec-Loise, Head Librarian, North Shore Country Day School
Join ALA Policy Corps members for a conversation surrounding political advocacy for school librarians. In this session, you will hear directly from decision makers at various levels to learn their perspectives on advocacy and what makes a good advocate. You will also learn how to connect with your local, state, and national legislators; communicate effectively; and break down the barriers standing in the way of your advocacy efforts. 

Making the Connection: Early Literacy and Computational Thinking for Young Children
Claudia Haines, Youth Services Librarian, Homer Public Library (Alaska); Paula Langsam, Children's Librarian, DC Public Library
Computational thinking, a problem solving process often associated with computer science, has become a buzz word as libraries and other cultural institutions move to support STEM and STEAM learning. But beyond the “coding” buzz, the universal ideas behind computational thinking – decomposition, pattern recognition, and abstraction – connect with familiar early literacy practices, like reading, singing, and playing. By exploring the relationship between early literacy skills and computational thinking skills, library staff can challenge themselves to think differently about our fundamental services and programs and the ways our work supports the whole child. Young children can become successful problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and lifelong learners at the library.

Community, Equity, and Storytimes
CiKeithia Pugh, Early Learning Program Manager, The Seattle Public Library; Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC
Leading for equity means examining our library practices and policies with an equity lens. This shift in practice moves away from viewing our services as merely transactional and instead builds them in partnership with community. This interactive session will highlight The Seattle Public Library’s work to prioritize community voices and equitable partnerships to create relevant, responsive youth services programming. We'll also explore how Supercharged Storytimes is applying an equity lens to a training program that builds the skills and knowledge of storytime providers across the country as they nurture early literacy skills in the readers of the future.

Learning from Each Other: Intergenerational Learning with Storytelling and STEM
Ashley Braun, Digital and Family Learning Librarian, The Seattle Public Library; Amy Twito, Informal Learning Program Manager, The Seattle Public Library; Dr. Carrie Tzou, Associate Professor, University of Washington Bothell
When families use STEM concepts to tell their own stories that center around their culture, creativity, and values, learning comes to life. Hear about the transformative partnership between a public library, university research team, science center, and community-based organizations that codesigned family programs incorporating stories, robotics, and e-textiles. At the heart of this learning is family storytelling, a practice that brings folks of all ages together in a culturally responsive, strengths-based way. Attendees will learn ways to incorporate participatory design elements with partners, as well as how to cultivate intergenerational learning experiences by prioritizing storytelling in STEM programs.

Pushing on the Frontier: Disability Access and the Future of Libraries
Katherine N Deibel, Inclusion & Accessibility Librarian, Syracuse University Libraries 
To be truly inclusive, the future of libraries must take great strides in promoting disability access. This goes beyond just web accessibility. Yes, we should be more obstinate regarding the compliance of our own web sites and collectively push on vendors to be compliant. True change, however, requires libraries to further involve themselves in the creation, remediation, and sharing of accessible content. As stewards of content throughout history, we understand how content’s structure and usage has evolved. Using this knowledge, libraries must play an active role in shaping the technology, standards, and practices to make content truly accessible to all. 

Algorithms, Implicit Bias, and Search Literacy: Exploring Beliefs among Computer Science Students about Search Engine and Machine Learning Models
Shalini Ramachandran, Science Librarian, University of Southern California; Steven Cutchin, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Boise State University; Sheree Fu, ECST Librarian, California State University, Los Angeles; Karen Howell, Head, Leavey Library, University of Southern California
What role do library professionals have in raising awareness about algorithm design and human bias? In this presentation, we share insights from a survey of computer science students – the future  architects of algorithms and AI systems that shape our information infrastructure – about their perceptions of the biases in search engines and big-data algorithms. All librarians can benefit from our presentation as it will help them understand the significance of developing ethically informed search literacy. In our discussion, we underscore that library and information professionals have a role in partnering with information scientists to ensure that libraries can be spaces where users can optimize their search for information and expect fair treatment from automated systems.

Building a Future-Ready Workforce: How Public Libraries Can Create Resilient and Entrepreneurial Communities
Audrey Barbakoff, Community Engagement and Economic Development Manager, King County Library System; Jay Lyman, Librarian, The Seattle Public Library
Learn about key trends shaping the future of work and how public libraries can play an important role in creating communities that are prepared for change. Structural shifts in our workforce such as automation and AI, the sharing and gig economy, systemic income and educational inequity, and entrepreneurship and design thinking will impact workers and businesses in your community. By the end of this session, you will: understand some key workforce shifts impacting your patrons; be able to connect those broader trends to impactful library partnerships and services; and have begun formulating a plan to develop services responses for your own library.

Racial Equity: Libraries Organizing to Transform Institutions
Amita Lonial, Learning, Marketing and Engagement Principal Librarian, San Diego County Library; Sarah Lawton, Neighborhood Library Supervisor, Madison Public Library
Libraries across the country are working to identify and address institutional racism and structural inequities. Released in 2018, the Government Alliance on Race and Equity’s issue paper “Advancing Racial Equity in Libraries: Case Studies from the Field” provides an overview of successful strategies and a framework designed to drive change from the local level. Join colleagues from GARE and from the Public Library Association’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to learn more about the work that is being done and to discuss the opportunities and challenges that libraries and communities face as we transform our institutions. 

Return to the Real: The Library as Social Connector
Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC; Jennifer Peterson, WebJunction Community Manager, OCLC
Studies show an increase in loneliness and depression because of too much time spent online. Communities experience steady erosion of the bonds formed when people share real-time activities together, which affects our health and well-being. As a magnet for social connection, libraries offer that sense of community and shared place that humans as social animals crave. Active learning programs that offer participatory activities to enhance individual learning can go further to cement social connection when people are learning and doing together. This session will explore library programs through the lens of social possibilities, with the goal of strengthening community bonds. 

The Role of Libraries in Addressing Homelessness and Poverty 
Julie Ann Winkelstein, Researcher, Author, Teacher, Activist; Tina Reid, Library Assistant II, Felix G. Woodward Library, Austin Peay State University; Jessica Ball, Librarian, Memphis Public Libraries; Hilary M Jasmin, Research and Learning Services Librarian, University of Tennessee Health Science Center 
Across the United States, public libraries in particular are considering their responsibilities in serving well their community members who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. The role of libraries in addressing societal challenges like these is one that hasn’t received much specific attention in library schools and this fact has left many who are addressing these challenges on a daily basis without the necessary vocabulary, background and tools. Using a new library school class as an example, this interactive session will offer examples of exercises, readings, videos and conversations that can help libraries move forward, dream big and take action.

Check out the whole line-up here! Hope to see you at Midwinter!