#hurrayoftheday: 71

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Kaetrena Davis Kendrick at Ida Jane Dacus Library (Winthrop University), July 1, 2020.

Today I began my new job as Dean of Ida Jane Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections. It’s such an honor to begin the next phase of my career – and the first phase as a formal leader – at my alma mater, Winthrop University.

FACT: As an undergraduate, I worked at Dacus Library as a work-study student. I worked in circulation, shelving books and shelf-reading.

I’m looking forward to developing, building, and improving as I lead and learn.

 

#hurrayoftheday: 70

Last month I participated in a webinar with colleagues Jenn Carson, Fobazi Ettarh,  Amanda Leftwich, Eamon Tewell, and Madeleine Tierney, which was hosted by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Our panel discussed best practices for centering mental and physical health for library employees dealing with the workplace impacts of COVID-19.

I received the following note (partial):

I wanted to reach out and tell you: thank you for your words…you named the things that I’ve been unable to, things that I haven’t had the strength to voice…The things you said about self-preservation, empathetic leadership, boundaries, burnout, low morale, advocating for people… it spoke to me and I learned a lot from you.
You are so encouraging and inspiring, and you helped heal some of the disconnect and discouragement that I’ve felt during the last few months. Thank you for sharing your words.

#hurrayoftheday: 69

Last month I led the inaugural session of my course “Reimagining Workplace Empowerment,” which focuses on helping Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) working in libraries process their low-morale experiences. Soon after this course ended, protests catalyzed by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Toni McDade, and others at the hands of police began, and were heightened by the violent response by police on peaceful protesters. 

A student who took the course emailed, sharing, in part:

 I just wanted to let you know that your course … has been key in my getting through a dark time made worse by racial terror and police violence. Please take good care and know that your work has been an invaluable resource.

I am really grateful to hold this space for our BIPOC colleagues at this time in history.

#Recognize: Treshani Perera, M.L.I.S.

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Treshani is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Mikwaukee, holding a dual degree: an MLIS (with concentrations in Information Organization and Archival Studies) and a Master of Music in Music History. Currently, she is a Music and Fine Arts Cataloging Librarian at the University of Kentucky. In her position as a tenure-track librarian, she also serves as the head of the Fine Arts Cataloging Unit, where she manages cataloging, processing, preservations, and special collections operations at the Fine Arts Library. Her work centers original and complex cataloging for print, sheet music, and audio-visual archival items and collections. She also exercises supervisory skills, guiding the work of two full-time employees and a part-time graduate student. 

Describe a current project or idea that you’re working on or have recently completed.

My institution has a year-long library diversity internship program for undergraduate students, and I’m the internship supervisor for the program. This is my second year in this role, and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done with this program to support and mentor undergraduate students from underrepresented communities. It’s been a great way for me to continue to connect with students from racial/ethnic groups, get them involved with diversity-related programming and events sponsored by the library, and get them excited about a career in librarianship (which hasn’t happened yet, but I’m hopeful!). This position comes with a lot of emotional labor, but it’s also very gratifying to be able to give back and share life/career tips with students that have stories and experiences similar to mine. I’ve learned from them just as much as they’ve been able to learn something from me!

Finish the following sentence: “I am happy when I…”

…am surrounded by people who see me for who I am and allow me to bring my whole self to a shared space. I am very grateful to the women of color in my life (both within and outside of librarianship) that uplift, support, and inspire me with their truth.

Finish this sentence: “One way the LIS profession can improve or progress is…”

…by hiring more library workers from marginalized groups and identities, and supporting/sponsoring/celebrating the work they do to advance the LIS profession. I’m also going to take this opportunity to advocate for hiring librarians of color into permanent positions and promoting us from within. I have been very fortunate to be part of a community (shout out to Libraries We Here) that nurture and support the retention and advancement of library workers of color. My wish for library workers of color is for organizations and the greater LIS profession to recognize our potential – from entry level to leadership positions – and remove barriers so that we can focus on success in this profession without constantly having to fight the system.

If you are a creator/maker, what do you make, and how does that creativity help or inspire your library practice?

Before becoming a librarian, I had an active career as a professional musician (classically trained pianist). As a pianist, I enjoyed collaborating with others, which is something I enjoy as a librarian, too. Collaborations and project work bring out my creative side, and I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to show my creativity through various projects I oversee as part of job responsibilities. As for performing, I get to do it for fun these days. Lately, however, I haven’t been able to do much performing with a full-time job and other commitments. I’m hoping to get back into it more regularly since it’s something that brings me joy and a sense of accomplishment outside of work.

What music/artist/song are you currently into?

Lizzo!!! “Good As Hell” has been my personal anthem for 2019 (and did y’all see the video?! I mean, she’s a band nerd, too!) I’m inspired by her message of authenticity and body-positivity. Lizzo has given me plenty of reasons to smile through some dark times this year.

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#hurrayoftheday: 68

Yesterday at a webinar hosted by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), I presented the latest results of my low morale/COVID-19 survey (it’s still open and taking responses, by the way). I received the following message from an attendee:

“I just wanted to thank you so much for the amazing NNLM presentation today! …[I]t was so powerful to see and feel how present you are in your message and emotional support for listeners.  To me, you are not just presenting research, you are helping people learn how to value themselves, and also to question their own roles in completely dysfunctional systems. This is so valuable in general, and is very much so to me personally.”

Empowerment. Clarity. Accountability. I will keep going!

#hurrayoftheday: 67

I recently finished the inaugural session of my Library Juice Academy course, “Reimagining Workplace Empowerment: Reducing Low Morale for Minority Librarians.

Today I received an email from a student, which ended with this deeply moving statement:

“I want to thank you so much for this course. I’ve learned more than just information, I learned to be more brave.

I’m grateful, and deeply moved and honored to see the title and purpose of this course fulfilled in real time in our profession.

 

Today’s Video

It’s SHINee’s 12th anniversary!

Here is the song that is playing in the video above. It’s called “Life” – a cut from the group’s second full studio album, Lucifer, which was released in 2010. The video shows them performing the song at their first-ever world concert series (sold out) in Japan’s iconic Tokyo Dome, and it includes English subtitles). Enjoy.

#hurrayoftheday: 66 (Fly Like an Eagle)

I’m beyond thrilled – and absolutely overjoyed – to announce that I have been named Dean of Ida Jane Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections at my alma mater, Winthrop University (Rock Hill, South Carolina). 

In my role, I will be chief academic and administrative officer and work collaboratively with 23 faculty and staff members to develop and implement a vision for a 21st-century library and archives.

My heart is full.

Learn more.