Event Title

Braving Our Blindspots: Using a virtual book discussion group to continue conversations on implicit bias in libraries

Location

Paper Session #1b: Communities and Inclusion

Start Date

11-10-2019 11:40 AM

End Date

11-10-2019 11:50 AM

Type of Work

Presentation

Description

Diversifying librarianship has been a strategic priority for years yet statistically the profession remains largely white. A contributing factor to this homogeneity is likely implicit bias. An implicit bias occurs when an individual has attitudes toward a group of people or associate stereotypes with them without their conscious knowledge. Growing research indicates that implicit biases impact the decisions that we all make daily. In libraries, it impacts who gets hired, who gets supported, which programs get funded, and which services are offered. The authors planned and facilitated a virtual book discussion group using Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald’s book, Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People as a platform for safe interaction and thought-provoking discussions. Funding for books and MLA CE credit was sourced from a NNLM grant. Six sessions were held, including a welcome session, four virtual sessions and one on-site session at the 2019 MLA Annual Meeting. Nine group facilitators led eight groups. A communication and engagement plan was developed for managing the book discussions, including creating and managing discussion schedules, session slides, attendance sheets, and other documentation using a Google folder.

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Oct 11th, 11:40 AM Oct 11th, 11:50 AM

Braving Our Blindspots: Using a virtual book discussion group to continue conversations on implicit bias in libraries

Paper Session #1b: Communities and Inclusion

Diversifying librarianship has been a strategic priority for years yet statistically the profession remains largely white. A contributing factor to this homogeneity is likely implicit bias. An implicit bias occurs when an individual has attitudes toward a group of people or associate stereotypes with them without their conscious knowledge. Growing research indicates that implicit biases impact the decisions that we all make daily. In libraries, it impacts who gets hired, who gets supported, which programs get funded, and which services are offered. The authors planned and facilitated a virtual book discussion group using Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald’s book, Blindspot: The Hidden Biases of Good People as a platform for safe interaction and thought-provoking discussions. Funding for books and MLA CE credit was sourced from a NNLM grant. Six sessions were held, including a welcome session, four virtual sessions and one on-site session at the 2019 MLA Annual Meeting. Nine group facilitators led eight groups. A communication and engagement plan was developed for managing the book discussions, including creating and managing discussion schedules, session slides, attendance sheets, and other documentation using a Google folder.