Thursday, September 26, 2013

DiversiTEA Speaker 2013


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

3:30-5:00 pm

  Jeff Libman, author

DiversiTEA! Igniting Cultural Awareness in Libraries

An Illinois Library Association Cultural and Racial Diversity Committee presentation

Join the ILA Cultural and Racial Diversity Committee for tea!  Over delectable refreshments, Jeff Libman, author of An Immigrant Class: Oral Histories from Chicago’s Newest Immigrants, will talk about the emotional, physical and psychological challenges immigrants face when moving to a new place and followed by a discussion on how libraries can become a place where diverse cultures can ignite to face the challenges. To register and details at:

What you’ll learn:

To serve immigrant populations

To plan and organize programs and activities for diverse populations

To demonstrate library leadership in diversity

Win a diversity teapot or cultural heritage prize!



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Libraries Are “Sacred Places” Says Author Stuart Dybek at Polish American Librarians Open House

More than 85 librarians and library supporters, some from as far away as Texas and Florida, gathered at the Polish Museum of America (PMA) in Chicago February 24 for an afternoon of networking, brainstorming, and programs. Keynote speaker Stuart Dybek, award-winning Polish American author and poet, provided the highpoint of the proceedings with stories about his reverence for libraries, calling them "sacred places" that are at the center of a writer's life. "My library card was like a passport that could be stamped over and over again on my journey to becoming a Polish-American," he said.

 Katie Clausen, library school student from Dominican University, received the 2013 Vera May Barnes Zubrzycki Scholarship (read more at Dominican University website), and her heartfelt acceptance demonstrated why she was chosen, as she spoke about cultural diversity in libraries. Susan Roman, dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican, and Michael Zubrzycki, scholarship donor for whose mother it is named, were on hand to present the award of $2,300.

Project coordinator Barbara Bilszta spoke about "All of Polonia Reads to Kids" and screened a film showing how well the reading initiative has taken off in Poland, and she urged Polish American librarians to participate. Following her talk, the young people of the Academy of Music of Paderewski Symphony Orchestra and Little Stars entertained with lively performances of classical and popular tunes.

 PALA president Elizabeth Marszalik and PMA president Maria Ciesla welcomed the group, and Konrad Zielinski from the Polish Consulate in Chicago said he looked forward to working with PALA on future projects. PALA board member Leonard Kniffel talked about PALA's connection to the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, which was launched in 2012. Malgorzata Kot, PMA head librarian, served as emcee and conducted a tour of the museum library, one of the largest of its kind in the world, following the program.

Watch a video of Stuart Dybek’s presentation on the PALA website or YouTube.

The mission of the Polish American Librarians Association is to positively impact services provided to library patrons of Polish descent and individuals interested in Polish culture and to enhance professional knowledge by developing forums for discussion and networks of communication among library staff. Annual membership dues for librarians are $25. Library support staff, students, retirees, and unemployed library workers are eligible for a $15 special rate. 
Visit for more details.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Diversity Program Presents
“Empowering Library Staff to Meet the Needs of the Spanish Speaking Community”

DATE:    April 11, 2013

TIME:    10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

PLACE:  Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library District

19901 Stoney Island Ave, Lynwood, IL


Registration is Free at L2:

Note:  Please bring your lunch or be prepared to order pizza.


Ms. Vandella Brown, Manager, Illinois State Library Diversity Program

Mr. Jay Newman Hidalgo, MA. PSA

Illinois Department of Human Services Office of Accessibility and Customer Support

Mr. Dennis Rios, Spanish Content/Outreach Coordinator, Illinois Legal Aid Online

REGISTRATION:  No Fee—Register at:


This workshop is for all library staff. Participants will:

  • Learn about the challenges and benefits of reaching out to serve the Spanish speaking community and increasing their access to public library computers and resources. There will be a presentation about Hispanic/Latino culture, behavior and values; how we learn about the culture; and how that culture impacts our behaviors and perceptions.

  • Learn the differences and strengths in communication styles of the Spanish speaking community. Learn how to build strong community partnerships and collaborate with the Spanish speaking community to increase their access to public library computers and resources.

  • Listen to speakers from the Hispanic culture/community and their resources to the Spanish-speaking community. Develop an action plan for reaching out to the Spanish-speaking community.
Jesse White, Secretary of State and State Librarian