Sunday, October 12, 2008

Chicago Tribune: Exploring Race

Dawn Turner Trice's "Exploring Race" blog is at this link:

She also describes the real blood bath on the streets of Chicago in her column entitled "Local carnage covered up by Wall Street woes" in the October 13, 2008 edition linked here, at least for now.

We cannot educate kids in libraries if they are already dead.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I-CARD 2008 ILA Conference

Thank you to everyone who attended the I-CARD sponsored activities at the 2008 ILA Conference at Navy Pier in Chicago! A special thanks goes to Barbara Ford of the the Mortenson Center at the University of Illinois for coordinating the 2008 Associates, our very enthusiastic international guests!

Thanks goes to the I-CARD Committee members and our past members who continue to help out:

Barbara Andrianopoli
Vandella Brown
Melody Coleman
Terry Cottrell
Betty Cress
Veyshon Edmond, Intern
Emily Guss, Board Liason
Sharon Highler
Mary Medjo Me Zenque
Lori Mestre
Stephanie Owen
Mary Tuytschaevers
Roberta Webb

These folks put up with my e-mail messages, which often have subject lines such as "Long E-mail" and "Crazy Idea" all year long to pull this conference off. They are brave enough to read those messages! --Kay Shelton, Chair

See you next year in Peoria, and maybe sooner elsewhere!

DiversiTea! Patrick Dawson

Patrick Dawson now serves as the Dean of the University Libraries at Northern Illinois University. He recently came from the University of California, Santa Barbra where he served as the Associate University Librarian for Information and Research Services and the Head of the Colección Tloque Nahuaque, for resources on Chicano studies. That library collection had its origins with students. Chicano and African Americans took over the computer lab and told the university that they wanted Chicano and African American studies programs.

To emphasize that libraries generally do not represent the population that they serve, Dawson provided statistics. In 2002, 208 African Americans, 147 Latinos, and 0.5% American Indians graduated with degrees in library science--for the entire United States. It is possible to engage in recruitment to the profession, which he did at Santa Barbara. The challenge is that librarians do not make as much money compared to other professions. Dawson, however, mentored three people and OCLC will start a new program for minorities with the intention of diversifying library management. He is currently working toward establishing a fellowship program, with the goal of helping recent library school graduates gain work experience for two years and build their resumes. His work is his way of giving something back to the profession because he benefited from a fellowship program in the past.

For more information on the Colección Tloque Nahuaque at Santa Barbara, please see the Web site at:

For more information on Patrick Dawson, please see this link:

DiversiTea! Jenifer Grady

Jenifer Grady, Director of the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association, spoke on a variety of workplace issues and missed opportunities. She told a story of talking to some kids at 73rd and Stony Island who were using degrading language.* Just letting it go would be a missed opportunity to help the kids learn. Other missed opportunities include when people own stock but they fail to vote on the investment boards that could have shaped the direction those companies take.

In the workplace, genetic discrimination now includes DNA and health issues. She gave a hypothetical example of an employer not wanting to hire certain people because they might get arthritis. Another example of diversity that people may overlook is someone coming from a big city and going to a small town.

The ALA-APA has information on competencies for public libraries for managers. Grady explained how professional development can be an equalizer. There are, however, only six African American librarians in leadership positions in Illinois. But, that means we “have room for you.” For salaries, even if some salaries go up one at a time, that does raise the overall salaries in the state. She emphatically emphasized that comparing librarians’ salaries to those of social workers and teachers needs to stop. She suggested that more people should be involved with negotiating salaries.

Grady mentioned three other factors that would help improve the workplace. When new employees start, there is a need to introduce them to all of the staff all of the time. Next, there is a need for people to mentor and coach employees. Lastly, everyone needs to document accomplishments.

For more information on the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association, please see the Web site at:

For more information on Jenifer Grady, please see the ALA Wiki at:

*For our international visitors, 73rd and Stony Island is on the South Side of Chicago.

DiversiTea! Tracy Worth

Thanks to the ILA for granting permission for the use of their photo of Tracy Worth.

Professional recording artist Tracy Worth dedicated the song “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the Bette Midler movie Beaches to the memory of Sylvia Murphy Williams. Natural light streamed in through the oversized windows during Worth's performance, bathing the radiant sound of her voice, warming the audience's senses and spirit.

Please visit Worth’s site at:
and do not miss her story of going blind in one eye at:

Tracy Worth is the professional name of Tracy Ducksworth, the Director of the Grande Prairie Public Library District that serves Hazel Crest and Country Club Hills, and a 2001 winner of the ALA's Spectrum Scholarship. For every purchase of her CD, "Don’t Let Heaven Pass You By,” she donates $5 to the Sylvia Murphy Williams Fund. You can find her CD on the online music ordering service CD Baby at:

[I can attest to the excellent, unique customer service provided by CD Baby. --Kay]

Friday, October 10, 2008

DiversiTea! Vandella Brown

Always a paragon of style, Moderator Vandella Brown set the tone for the DiversiTea! wearing a simply smashing hat.

Vandella serves as the Manager of the Illinois State Library Diversity Program. For information about the Illinois State Library Diversity Program as well as events and services offered, please see the WebJunction site at: There are links to diversity-related sites, including those at the American Library Association. For information on WebJunction itself, please see:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Scholarship Success: Thank You!!

Navy Pier formed a picturesque backdrop for the 2008 ILA Conference.

Thank you to all who generously gave toward the Sylvia Murphy Williams Scholarship Fund! Our Committee raised $1,302 on the day of the DiversiTea! at the ILA Conference, which exceeded our goal.

Thank you very much!!

Please read about the seven college students in Illinois who are this year's winners in the October edition of the ILA Reporter, available at the Publications link at: We look forward to the continued success of these students and we hope to continue the scholarship for years to come! Those students who earned the scholarship are: Linda Sue Collins, Harriett Elizabeth Green, Deana Greenfield, Elizabeth Hernandez, Hannah Lee, Laksamee Anne Putnam, and Roy Saldana, Jr.

If you would like the opportunity to give something back to the library community in Illinois by helping the next generation of librarians achieve their dreams, please see the information about the Sylvia Murphy Williams Fund at:

Thank you again, to all who helped!

A special thanks to Cyndi Robinson and Bob Doyle of the ILA and everyone on the Conference Committee who made the 2008 Conference a success! Thanks also to the staff at Navy Pier for their quick response in setting up for the DiversiTea!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Instituto Cervantes Library (Tour Continued)

Librarian Salvador Vergara (standing in the middle) explains some of the services that the Instituto Cervantes offers. The Instituto Cervantes trains many of the teachers in the Chicago Public Schools, offers an accredited diploma for teaching Spanish as a second language, and gives dance lessons. The library is one part of the center and it is open to anyone for free although to check out materials, there is a $25 fee to join as a member for students and seniors and a $50 fee for everyone else. The library has around 20,000 items including books in Catalan, Galician, and Basque. The sound recordings include interviews with writers. The library often fields questions for tourism for people planning trips abroad as well as provides assistance to specialized researchers. The library's online catalog links to a database in Madrid.

One unusual event that Salvador Vergara described is a partnership with a center in Hamburg, Germany for a live guitar performance with musicians collaborating via the Internet.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Instituto Cervantes Library (Tour Continued)

According to Salvador Vergara, a little girl who use the library recently left four children's books on the table as though there would be other children sitting at the table to read them. Staff at the library thought the books looked so perfect on the table that they left the books right where the little girl placed them.

Instituto Cervantes Library (Tour Continued)

The government of Spain established the Instituto Cervantes with dozens of locations in key areas all over the world. The purpose of the Instituto Cervantes is to promote the Spanish language and the cultures of Spain and Latin America, especially in areas such as Brazil where there are Spanish speakers yet they are not in the majority population. The Instituto Cervantes in Chicago offers the Biblioteca Severo Ochoa with more than 20,000 volumes, Spanish films, music recordings, Spanish lessons and classes at reasonable costs, continuing education for Spanish teachers, and cultural programming.


Instituto Cervantes of Chicago. (n.d.). Instituto Cervantes. Brochure. Chicago: Instituto Cervantes of Chicago.

Victor M. Cortes (Tour Continued)

Victor M. Cortes attended the lunch and when Lupe Lozano invited him to speak, he declined and replied that she already said what was important. He wrote a book called 10 de Marzo, La Marcha about the March 10, 2006 demonstrations about immigration which took place in Chicago and in cities across the United States. According to his press release, his book discusses events leading up to the demonstration, with a focus on Chicago. He wrote it from the perspective of an immigrant and through the eyes of other immigrants in the form of a novel meant to be more accessible by more people compared to an academic book. He held a book signing following the talks.


Cortes, Victor M. (n.d.) 10 de Marzo La Marcha: Chicago, 2006. Press release.

Lupe Lozano (Tour Continued)

Lupe Lozano, the widow of Rudy Lozano, gave a stunning story of their life together, and his tragic end. He was born in Texas and his family moved to Hammond, Indiana. While he was in high school, he asked for classes on Mexicans. Upon graduation, he entered the University of Illinois at Chicago, and pressured the university to adopt affirmative action policies. In 1973, illegal immigration became blamed for a downturn in the economy. Rudy gave up his education in medicine and became an activist. In 1979, he became an organizer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, later director in 1983.

In 1983, Rudy Lozano ran for the 22nd Ward Alderman and lost by seventeen votes. Lupe Lozano said the election, "was taken away from us."* He worked to unite Latinos with African Americans by finding common ground and his organization helped Harold Washington become the mayor. According to Lupe, Rudy saw the area as north, south, east, and west united and did not want the election of Washington, an African American, to become racial dividing. While Washington served in Congress before becoming mayor, he tried to help undocumented immigrants, and he opened doors for Latinos and women. Soon afterward, someone assassinated Rudy Lozano by shooting him in his home in front of their two-year-old child. Today, the murder remains unsolved.

Following Lupe Lozano's talk, she showed a video created for 2008, the 25th anniversary of her husband Rudy's assassination.

*Chicago was notorious for voting fraud, as coined by the slogan "Vote Early, Vote Often."

Rudy Lozano Branch Library (Tour Continued)

This picture is of chess boards at the Rudy Lozano Branch Library. The library hosts chess games and a group appropriately named the Knight Moves Chess Club. All ages are welcome to play and the library hosts children right after school beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Rudy Lozano Branch (Tour Continued)

Stained glass images of houses, water, sun, and bridges are meant to symbolize growth in the Pilsen neighborhood, according to the artist Nereyda Garcia-Ferraz. A cactus in the center of each panel is in "homage to the founders of Mexico and to the Mexican people in Pilsen" (Chicago Public Library Rudy Lozano Branch n.d.). The stained glass can be seen by passerbys and is meant to draw in the public to the library, by letting them know that it is part of their community.


Chicago Public Library Rudy Lozano Branch Library. (n.d.). A Guide to the Artwork at the Rudy Lozano Branch Library. Chicago: Chicago Public Library.

Rudy Lozano Branch (Tour Continued)

Beautiful mosaic birds along the frieze

Rudy Lozano Branch (Tour Continued)

Rudy Lozano Branch Director Hector Hernandez stands in front of the beautiful mosaic called Chic Chac by the artists Hector Duarte and Cynthia Weiss. The artists based the mosaic on the famous Toltec monument Chac Mool in Mexico. The orginal Chac Mool monument held offerings to the gods, especially Tlaloc, the rain god. The artists replaced the offerings with a book, and inserted Mayan symbols inside the book. The mosaic became a part of the library as the artists set them directly on the brick wall. They chose colorings which compliment the decorative red and blue frieze which appears along the walls in several sections throughout the library.

Following a lunch catered by the Nuveo Leon Restaurant, Director Hernandez provided a short history of the library. Prior to the building of the library, there were no library services, then a bookmobile, and then a storefront. The library dates to 1985 and is 18,000 square feet which is larger than some branch libraries. Planners thought people would walk to the library so there is no parking lot which allowed a larger building to fit in the area. It is meant to serve the Mexican population that grew in the area. There are about 45,000 people in the area the library serves. In the past, the neighborhood was about 95% Mexican but now that is about 80% Mexican due to gentrification.

Officials from the Mexican Consulate visit often and until recently, held many of their events in the library. The Mexican Consulate donated around 15,000 books to the Chicago Public Library and most of those went to the Lozano Branch.

Director Hernandez explained some of the services the library offers. There is introduction to the public library given in Spanish. The library tries to help high school drop outs and there are GED and ESL classes offered. The video collection includes some old Mexican cinema. There is a Cybernavigator who helps patrons and the current one recently earned a $3,000 scholarship for college. Lastly, Director Hernandez added that the Spanish language media is very eager to promote events.


Chicago Public Library Rudy Lozano Branch Library. (n.d.). A Guide to the Artwork at the Rudy Lozano Branch Library. Chicago: Chicago Public Library.

Woodson Regional Library (Tour Continued)

Director Richard Baker listens intently to a question from one of the visitors on the tour. A painting of the library's namesake, Carter G. Woodson, watches over the Circulation area in the background.