Saturday, October 11, 2008
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: http://www.chicst.ucsb.edu/collection/
For more information on Patrick Dawson, please see this link: