Speakers 2019


headshot of eric klinenberg

Eric Klinenberg

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (Crown, 2018), Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002). He’s also coauthor, with Aziz Ansari, of the #1 bestseller Modern Romance. Klinenberg has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and This American Life.

Concurrent Sessions

Maggie Craig - Katrina Ortega - Crystal Chen

Community & Justice for All: Restorative Justice Practices for Public Libraries

Maggie Craig, Katrina Ortega, and Crystal Chen

“Libraries are for everyone” is a powerful statement of values, but working to make these words true is an active, ongoing process. This session will invite library staff working with youth to examine how they build and nurture community and respond to conflict and challenging behavior in their spaces. We will offer a brief intro to restorative justice and social-emotional learning approaches with an overview of resources & readings and engage participants in exploring opportunities for leveraging these practices in our dynamic spaces as we work to foster community and embody values of equity, inclusion, and justice in the public library.

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Created by and For People in Need: Use of Space and and Creating Community at the Minneapolis Central Library

Dillon Young and Kate Coleman, Health and Human Services of Hennepin County, Social Worker

In 2017, Hennepin County Library’s Central Library converted their old bookstore space into the Commons, a community gathering space to offer productive daytime activities to the most socially isolated patrons. Through work with the Library’s Homeless Advisory Group, youth shelters, a senior advisory and partnerships with the community, the library has converted the this space into “a place” accommodates 100s of patrons each week in programming. These programs, designed by and for the community, range from a film club before the library opens for people leaving shelters, a Spoken Word program and chair yoga.

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Reimagining Recovery & Rebuilding Puerto Rico: How Libraries Can Build Resilient Communities

Katherine Karmen Trujillo

After Hurricane Maria, LWB leveraged libraries as spaces of recovery & resilience in Puerto Rico. In partnership with local leaders & nonprofits, we created pop-up libraries & makerspaces in communities struggling to rebuild. Through these pop-ups, we equipped local residents with digital tools, trainings & technology (including 3D printers & VR headsets) that imparted life-saving information, as well as provided access to critical services. Using this approach, we examined the role of pop-up libraries in promoting resilience & mitigating the psychosocial consequences of the hurricane.

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Coming Out Day Screenings and Coffee Chats: Queer individual Storytelling in an Academic Library Space

Adrianna Martinez

Stepping outside the library space to inquire about the needs of LGBTQIA+ folks is important in representing the library as a safe space, especially as a queer latinx woman. This workshop will be a reflection on how librarians(including library workers) can use approachable techniques to get to know the queer folks in the communities they serve. For National Coming Out Day, a curated playlist of queer voices telling stories, allies showing solidarity and nontraditional coming out processes played in NYIT’s main library. This event was tailored to reflect the student population, this event represented a majority of people of color, from diverse backgrounds, over the entire LGBTQIA+ spectrum, and the functionally diverse community. Hosting this event and having conversations about where the library can meet the queer community laid the groundwork for students of all backgrounds to feel safe and comfortable in the library space. This workshop will enable you to step back into your library with a new perspective on how to support the folks already in the library space in a more meaningful, and dialogue driven way.

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The LGBTQ + Allies Committee at Queens Library

Thomas Maxheimer and Victoria James

There are areas of our community where it is still unsafe to be “out” and community members use our libraries as their safe space. Join us as we share our experiences on how the LGBTQ + Allies Committee at Queens Library was formed, how we push boundaries, and transform community library spaces. We are living the “Queens Library Is For Everyone” value by creating programs, expanding our collections, providing training and resources, and spaces that are inclusive for employees and community members.

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Straight Places, Queer Spaces: LGBTQ+ Identity, Service and Survival in Libraries

Djaz Frederick Zulida

How can LGBTQ+ librarians gain support for themselves and support queer patrons? How does visibility impact safety and service in public libraries? Join us for a roundtable discussion on how we build queerness into the straight places we work in through gender expression, signage, collection development, programs, and physical spaces in the library. This session prioritizes voices of library folks of queer experience.

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Cooking Classes without a Kitchen

Christopher Morgan and Patty Sussmann

Librarians know that food programs are always a great program to bring in patrons. Cooking programs are a great way to provide nutritional and health information to patrons, as well as celebrate cuisines from different cultures. They’re also a lot of fun and a very interactive program where patrons can learn from each other as well. However not every library is fortunate enough to have a kitchen programming space. We’ll go over some ideas for how libraries without a kitchen can work around this and still provide great food programs for their patrons.

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Creating a Space for New Americans and English Learners

Katelyn Duncan

In 2016, Worcester Public Library’s main location in downtown Worcester, MA had space for World Language and ESL materials on the first floor near the entrance, but the area had been mostly neglected and ignored. In recent years, the New Americans Corner has transformed into a vibrant space with updated collections in 13 languages, multilingual signage, connections with community organizations and events, and new patrons brought in through programming and outreach. Hear about what has worked, what hasn’t, and get inspired to welcome immigrants, refugees, and English learners into your library.

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Steps in Lowering Barriers to a Special Collections Library

J.D. Arden

Many special collection libraries have an air of exclusivity that discourages access. We are taking steps to dismantle these patterns to transform our library into more of a publicly-integrated, accessible space. We are: Partnering with local community organizations (some of which are represented in our archival collections, to provide immigrant-aid tutoring space (through HIAS, among others), identifying how access to the library and to collections may be limited to people with physical or neurological disabilities – and working to improve our accessibility and outreach to those communities.

anthony chase and carly wais

Wash and Learn Initiative (WALI)

Carly Wais and Anthony Chase

Rather than trying to bring more people into the library, the Wash and Learn Initiative brings libraries to people. WALI transforms laundromats into centers of learning, focusing on topics like digital literacy, health and legal literacy, and early childhood education. Librarians and local community organizations lead workshops and classes to address the particular but varied interests of families at each laundromat site. The laundromat’s waiting area is reimagined into a community learning and gathering space, full of potential and resources to explore while your clothes are in the wash.

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Small City, Big City Problems

Scott Jarzombek Julia Pinto, and Dan Barker

When we think of urban libraries we think of the big 3. Across the state of New York, there are several small and mid-sized cities. Many of them share the same challenges of their larger sibling organizations. These libraries also have the unique opportunity to serve populations from outlying rural and suburban populations. This discussion is a great way for the entire ULU community to recognize the diversity of urban library service across the state and how we can learn from each other.

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Poster Sessions

Outside the Library Walls – Brenda Bentt-Peters and Nicole Bryan

BPL runs outpost lending libraries with books for families in 14 shelters in partnership with the Department of Homeless Services. Outreach staff and librarians have built relationships with their neighboring shelters to educate them about library services available at nearby libraries. We offer on-site programs to support literacy and educational advancement for babies to adults. Currently 40-50 programs are delivered in shelters each year. We will present the outside-the-box approach taken, including debunking misconceptions about working with people in shelters.

Las Comadres Book Club – Gabi Kim Huesca

The Las Comadres book club meets monthly to discuss literature by Latina (and Latino) authors. We coordinate with a national organization so that we are reading the same book on the national level — there is a monthly conference call with the authors to hear their perspectives. Locally, Las Comadres DC meets for a social gathering (separate from book club), and discusses the national book at the DC Public Library Mt. Pleasant branch. The idea is to support up and coming and lesser known Latina authors — by purchasing and reading their books.

Transforming Libraries Through Intergenerational Art– Nina Maness, Ruth Marshall and Dawn Holloway

The “Art in the Air” program transformed Parkchester and Morris Park Library. Using paracord, library patrons crocheted and installed art throughout the libraries. The program created space for children to have meaningful conversations with senior adults and brought together many patrons from new immigrant communities. Due to the intergenerational and multilingual participation, “Art in the Air” makes visible the diversity of people utilizing libraries. Librarian Nina Maness, Library Manager Dawn Holloway, and artist Ruth Marshall will discuss libraries as places of art and diversity.

The Invisible Library: Creating a Home Out of Nothing – Grace Yamada and Seth Pompi

When the beloved Ottendorfer Library for essential renovations local librarians came up with creative ways to continue serve their patrons. Librarians Seth Pompi and Grace Yamada, were able to arrange weekly lunchtime visits to Harvey Milk High School, a close-knit transfer school serving LGBT+ youth. The unique setting posed many challenges: from the practical (time, transportation etc.) to the philosophical (how does the library exist as a relationship, not a place?). We also consider reader’s advisory, college and career support and other library duties in a ‘pop-up’ context.