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Melisa Martinez LIS 701_02 Core Value Assignment: Diversity September 26th, 2012.

Bertot, John Carlo, Jaeger, Paul T., Cassandra B. Jones, and Mega M. Subramaniam. Diversity and LIS Education: Inclusion and the Age of Information. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 52.2 (July 2011): 166. Summary The authors define and explain the role of diversity and multiculturalism in the field of LIS, specifically at the LIS educational level. They address the challenges and concerns that diversity imposes on LIS, particularly in the areas of education, recruiting, and scholarships. In the article, the authors propose that the LIS profession should embrace a broad definition of diversity instead of focusing on race and gender. The LIS educational program should also embrace certain factors and criteria that cater to all groups that are classified as underserved and underrepresented. Themes 1. There has been a disconnect on the way the LIS field has addressed the needs and interests of underrepresented, disadvantaged, and underserved in education and practice (pg 171). However, the article stresses the importance of the LIS profession in responding towards changing diversity trends. One example that the authors make is that that between the 1970s and 1990s, there was an attempt to close the diversity gap. Meaning that universities were compelled to implement initiatives to attract a diverse student body that would, in effect, place in the LIS professional workforce. However, the article makes the point that the diversification of the LIS student body and the inclusion of diversity criteria in LIS educational programs have actually decreased. They connect this to the fact that students are not attracted to the profession because of the lack of diversity in the LIS community. A second example that the authors make is that at the MLIS and PhD level, there is no detailed emphasis on the relationship between diversity and the impact it has on the profession. A number of programs have made the attempt to increase the emphasis of diversity, but have to failed to structure curriculum around it. A third example that the articles make is that libraries have focused on legal factors pertaining to access to information than actual services for the underrepresented. A fourth component that the article assesses is the way academic libraries have responded to diversity. The authors describe that academic libraries have viewed diversity in terms of race, but have failed to recognize other groups. (168-171) 2. LIS professional should have knowledge of how to provide equal access to information to a variety of groups, not just ethnic and gender groups. Educational programs should prepare LIS students in how to meet the information needs of these groups. The authors explain that this component is critical at the LIS educational level because all groups have different informational needs. Like other patrons, they have their own perceptions of how to identify, interpret, and analyze information in physical and electronic resources. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important for LIS students to have a firm grasp on how to handle situations like these. In a sense, the increasing

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amount of electronic resources available places further validity and emphasis on this point, because as future librarians, we must provide these groups with equal access to these technologies (pg. 171). The authors continue to make the point that LIS educational programs are not doing the best in teaching LIS students the skills needed to respond to these groups. A failure to meet the needs and interests of these particular groups will result in a decrease of library usability and impact the future of the library since these groups will possibly feel neglected. In order to meet the needs of these groups, however, the authors propose that libraries should create and implement inclusive services and resources for these groups (pg. 173). 3. All aspects of diversity are connected, meaning that the LIS educator and student impact the profession of librarianship, and the future librarians impact the diversity of the future LIS student body. Diversity among faculty is dependent on the LIS student body, and a curriculum that includes a broad definition of diversity depends on the faculty as well. a. This point is not a theme, but I found it to be an interesting point, because throughout the article, the authors write significantly about issues within the LIS educational programs concerning a wide variety of underrepresented, underserved groups, but do not provide any concrete solutions as to how to address the issues. However, towards the end of the article, the authors use the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland as an example in which they have made the move to provide courses and instruction on broad range of topics concerning diversity. Conclusions Increase diversity efforts in the field, and consider that there are the broad of groups in the diversified population. Develop initiatives that will meet the needs and interests for a variety of groups. Develop courses, programs, and opportunities for LIS students in order to prepare them with the skills necessary to develop and implement services and resources for the underrepresented and diverse population. Learn from the successes of libraries and other organizations in adopting and implementing initiatives directed at diverse population (all from page 176). Authority of Authors Paul T. Jaeger, Mega M. Subramanian, and John Carlo Bertot are faculty at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies. Based on my research, Cassandra B. Jones received her M.S. from the University of Maryland and is currently the director of academic advising at Stevenson University. The authors address aspects of gender, race, and o ther groups, and public policy in their instruction and studies. http://ischool.umd.edu/faculty-staff/faculty Effects of the Content on LIS services The information provided by the article has the potential to persuade LIS educators to overlook and revaluate how they address diversity in their LIS graduate programs, and also how libraries (public, academic, and special libraries) address diversity. It will possibly persuade libraries to overlook their current services and resources for these groups, if any, and brainstorm on ways to create and implement additional resources and services. The article makes the strong

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case that LIS educational programs and libraries define diversity narrowly, and that it should impact the way these organizations evaluate and assess diversity. Another area that perhaps needs revaluation is the way that libraries address diversity in their mission statement, goals, and policy. In addition, the article persuades one to think of how libraries first integrated existent resources and services for these groups, and the criteria needed in order to provide a successful range of resources and services for diverse groups. Generally, libraries, LIS educational programs, and other organizations should consider the factors proposed by the article, and evaluate how these factors compare to the way they provide services and resources to diverse populations. Reflecting on the article, it has always been a point of curiosity for me as to why few libraries provide services and resources for groups other than ethnic groups. Although libraries are aware of increasing ethnically diverse populations, particularly the Hispanic community, libraries are less inclined to provide services for the LGBT community, mentally and physically disabled, and other groups. Personally, I have only seen a select amount of resources and services for these groups. I feel that the root of the issue could possibly be a number of things, but is closely related to a number of factors that the article explained, particularly the fact that LIS professionals have minimal experience addressing the needs and interests of these groups. Even though the article does have limitations, the information provided could potentially have a significant impact on how LIS educational programs and libraries evaluate diversity and reassess diversity in their respective organizations.

Melisa Martinez