[Libs-Or] The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion issue of the OLA Quarterly is now available! Guest Editor: Elaine Hirsch

Robertshaw, Brooke Brooke.Robertshaw at oregonstate.edu
Sat Nov 2 11:10:33 PDT 2019

Hi all-
  I emailed Max to thank him for speaking out. I’m just going to add one more thing- I don’t think that the response should be in a future issue, I believe this merits an immediate response.  Frankly I also believe it merits deep soul searching about why it took Max to speak out publicly for the rest of us to speak out. Yet again why do we white folks depend on a person of color to do the educating? It’s a question I ask myself every time I see an act of oppression and don’t speak out.


“We can build a more just society with grand

gestures, but I think for most of us, we build a

more just society in all of the daily personal

exchanges that reveal who we are and

what we’re about.” ~Melanie Domenech Rodriguez

M. Brooke Robertshaw, PhD
brooke.robertshaw at oregonstate.edu
Oregon State University Libraries
& Press
Office: 541.737.1780
Mobile: 541.870.6136
"Algorithms don't make things fair if
you just blithely, blindly apply algorithms. They repeat our past
practices, our patterns. They
automate the status quo."
   ~Cathy O'Neil, TED 2017

On Nov 1, 2019, at 2:04 PM, Meredith Farkas <meredith.farkas at pcc.edu> wrote:

Thanks Max and Gesse. I was also deeply disappointed to see this article included in OLA Quarterly, a journal many of us have contributed to over the years with thoughtful and constructive writing. I want to second Gesse's suggestion that OLA Quarterly's editorial team publicly address this in some way in their next issue (or a future issue if that's not feasible). I also hope that they will develop some editorial standards that guide guest editors in making solid decisions about what to include in an issue. I wrote a letter to the editor with my concerns<https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xuFin5HQ5rdtyKmoVRzhjq_bOnWg7W4ygmXb7j2Al_U/edit> about this piece and I know others have as well.

Also, ALA has kindly made the text of Dr. Debbie Reese's Arbuthnot Honor Lecture available to everyone<https://journals.ala.org/index.php/cal/article/view/7101>, and I encourage you to read her thoughtful remarks and come to your own conclusions about them rather than relying on Ms. McNeil's second-hand account.

Kudos to the other authors of pieces in OLA Quarterly. There is so much practical, thoughtful, earnest, and valuable content in this issue and it's a shame that it is playing second fiddle to such an inflammatory closing piece. I urge you all to read the other articles in the issue.

Best wishes,

Meredith Farkas, Faculty Librarian, Library SAC Chair
Pronouns: she/her
Portland Community College Library, Sylvania Campus
meredith.farkas at pcc.edu<mailto:meredith.farkas at pcc.edu>

On Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 12:09 PM Gesse Stark-Smith <gesses at multco.us<mailto:gesses at multco.us>> wrote:
Hi All,

Thank you, Max, for bringing this to our listserv's attention and courageously pointing out the bias in Ms. McNeil's article.

I'm also confused about the inclusion of this piece in the EDI issue. In the introduction to the issue, the guest editor Elaine Hirsch writes: "This issue shares the important work that a wide variety of libraries are doing to help create equitable and inclusive communities in Oregon." Ms. McNeil's article does not share important work that is happening to make libraries more inclusive, rather it shares the perspective of an individual who is struggling with these concepts and critiquing those who are doing this important work. (As Max has pointed out, BIOPOC are so often told what they can/cannot say in these and so many other spaces.) This is a pervasive perspective in our society and not one that needs an additional platform--especially in an issue with the above stated purpose.

I'm wondering if the editors of the OLA quarterly plan to address this. Perhaps, by publishing a letter to the editor or a future article on this topic? Please keep me posted.

Gesse Stark-Smith

On Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 12:01 PM Max Macias <max.macias at gmail.com<mailto:max.macias at gmail.com>> wrote:
Except for the article by Heather McNeil, in which they attack indigenous scholar Dr. Debbie Reese and other scholars who are doing anti-racist work!


In fact, I find it deeply offensive to be spoken down to by a white woman of privilege about how to do EDI and anti-racist work 'right.'

Or maybe that article is written for white people,,,?

I'm confused.

Your article belittled Dr. Reese and others in the field who have moved beyond begging for inclusion and also moved beyond the corpus of traditionally white racist literature for children in the US.  This literature does much to reproduce the racism that permeates our country.  We are in dire need of AUTHENTIC representation and AUTHENTIC critiques of the traditionally white racist literature that we swim in and were raised within.  The best people to do these critiques are BIPOC and people from other oppressed groups.  Your article is an attack on these scholars.

Dr. Reese's groundbreaking work is a harbinger of what is to come.

BIPOC are constantly told how they should speak, behave, think and believe by white people and those days are now numbered...

This article is disturbing, offensive and racist.

It is sad because there are some other really good articles in this issue.

Max Macias

On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 7:08 AM Max Macias <max.macias at gmail.com<mailto:max.macias at gmail.com>> wrote:
Great work Everyone.

Thank you!


On Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 6:23 PM Charles Wood <wuchakewu at gmail.com<mailto:wuchakewu at gmail.com>> wrote:
The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion issue of the OLA Quarterly is now available! The Guest Editor is Elaine Hirsch, Associate Director of Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College and our current OLA President. Please download and read it here: https://commons.pacificu.edu/olaq/vol25/iss2/
This year EDI is a specific area of focus for the Oregon Library Association, and there will be many opportunities for OLA members to engage in related efforts and conversations. The best place to start is to read this issue! See if you know someone who wrote about their EDI work! :)
UX note: The links in this issue may work better if the reader downloads it into an Adobe DC Reader. The table of contents is clickable.

Best wishes,
Charles Wood
OLA Communications

Gesse Stark-Smith
Community Outreach Librarian
Multnomah County Library
gesses at multco.us<mailto:gesses at multco.us>

Pronouns: She/Her


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