[Libs-Or] Diversity, racism, silly, inauthentic & productive conversation.

Julia_Sathler at LB9.uscourts.gov Julia_Sathler at LB9.uscourts.gov
Wed Jun 11 12:32:19 PDT 2014

Hi there, 

This in no way reflects the view of my employer, though I'd be willing to 
bet that many of our judges know and employ this -- I'd like to add 
something I've been learning lately -- and that is about how we 
communicate to each other.  Active listening and non-violent communication 
(NVC) are tools that go a long way towards being heard and hearing someone 
else.  They are great tools for creating understanding and finding 
solutions to problems.

>From what I've learned about observable vs. un-observable things, I 
believe "diversity" is something that is objective and can be measured, 
but that "racist", rather, is an example of an word that is often used to 
accuse someone of something, but it can also refer to a  policy or 
reality.  It is a charged word.

"Silly", "not authentic" -- those are words that can actually be (or sound 
-- only the speaker knows for sure) dismissive of someone else's feelings 
or what is important to them -- according to what I have been learning. 
They are not likely to lead to agreement and problem solving.

This issue (diversity; I experience racism and I hate it, I fervently want 
to change racism) can be discussed in a non-judgmental and objective way. 
Whether it has merit or not for this forum I have no idea since I am a 
newcomer.  Perhaps there are guidelines for use posted somewhere.  I'm 
impressed with efforts to keep the discussion responsible, non-judgmental 
and non-personal.

Again, sometimes it can be thought that a topic is being shut down, and 
then what really what is going on is there is "violent communication" 
going on (I think that is kind of a weird term, but for lack of a better 
one) -- and that is what people want to shut down, not the topic.  BUT the 
answer is not to shut down "violent communication" either -- instead it is 
to respond to it skillfully -- in a way that leads to understanding and 
problem-solving.  This takes skill.  Why don't we study these skills as 
much as we study our "professional" skills?

NVC can be clunky to use -- it take practice to use it in real life, but 
it's precepts are worthwhile in any conversation -- particularly emotional 
ones.  http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com/aboutnvc/4partprocess.htm

Some active listening suggestions: http://www.studygs.net/listening.htm

I hope this was useful to someone.


Julia Sathler 
Assistant Librarian,
Portland Branch
Ninth Circuit Libraries
1000 SW Third Ave. 7A40
Portland, OR 97204
library: 503.326.8140
direct:  503.326.8147

From:   HARMON-MYERS Margaret <Margaret.HarmonMyers at ci.eugene.or.us>
To:     'Shannon Van Kirk' <SVanKirk at bluecc.edu>, 'Mark KILLE' 
<markk at multco.us>
Cc:     "libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us" 
<libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
Date:   06/11/2014 11:59 AM
Subject:        Re: [Libs-Or] A poem for the occasion
Sent by:        "Libs-Or" <libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>

Respectfully, it seems the focus was sidetracked by the silly poem, which 
I do not see as having anything to do with the original discussion, and 
seemed to make light of a very serious and authentic issue.  Let?s put 
that aside and continue with a worthy topic of discussion ? one that is 
not talked about enough, respectfully and openly, among our peers;  isn?t 
this the best place for it?  I want it to be shared with the larger group, 
those who prefer not to participate can simply delete, once they see the 
subject line.  I delete many emails on this listserv that are not of 
interest to me and don?t see that as a burden;  someone who has not been 
in on the conversation initially may see this subject and want to join the 
conversation and I want them to have that opportunity!
I do think the subject line needs to be updated to reflect the discussion.
I appreciate the insights I gain from all of you, and am grateful for this 
Margaret E. Harmon-Myers
Adult Reference Services
Eugene Public Library
100 West 10th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
margaret.harmonmyers at ci.eugene.or.us
From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf 
Of Shannon Van Kirk
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:46 AM
To: 'Mark KILLE'
Cc: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] A poem for the occasion
While understanding the issues, I make the following plea:
Because this has degenerated to the point where people are being (perhaps 
inadvertently) offensive to others, inappropriate folderol is being  
disseminated, and apologies are being generated, I suggest it is time to 
take this discussion off list (for those who wish to continue it.
I am on no way suggesting that it is an unworthy topic, but my inbox was 
FULL of little else this morning.  
Yes, I know how to use my delete key, but at this point, perhaps the point 
has been made?
Just a thought?..
Shannon Van Kirk, Director
Blue Mountain Community College Library
Pendleton, OR 97801
Voice: (541) 278-5916
FAX: (541) 276-6119
<shannon.vankirk at bluecc.edu>
IMPORTANT NOTICE:  This communication, including any attachment, contains 
information that may be confidential or privileged, and is intended solely 
for the entity or individual to whom it is addressed. If you are not the 
intended recipient, you should delete this message and are hereby notified 
that any disclosure, copying, or distribution of this message is strictly 
prohibited. Nothing in this email, including any attachment, is intended 
to be a legally binding signature.
Blue Mountain Community College is an Equal Opportunity Employer
From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf 
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:30 PM
Cc: libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: Re: [Libs-Or] A poem for the occasion
I have my own reservations about, basically, using critical race theory (
http://spacrs.wordpress.com/what-is-critical-race-theory/) as a deciding 
factor when evaluating solutions for essential daily library functions. 
But it's a jerk move to make fun of people who have it incorporated into 
their professional values. It's certainly a valid way of approaching the 
Library Bill of Rights' (
http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill) insistence that 
libraries exist to serve *all people of the community*. In any case, 
dismissing it as unworthy of engagement--as nothing more than a joke--just 
supports its most basic claims.
Mark Kille
Library Assistant (Information Services)
Multnomah County Library (Hillsdale)
markk at multco.us
On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM, Linda Church <lchurch at cu-portland.edu> 
Thanks for adding a little levity to the situation ? definitely needed.
Linda Church
Director, Art & Culture Program
Concordia University Libraries
t 503-493-6370   f 503-280-8697
2811 NE Holman Street   Portland, OR 97211


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