Working Towards More Ethical Behavior

Many of our libraries have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. I counted five sessions at the 2018 OLA Annual Conference that were related to the DEI work Oregon libraries are doing. We are at different places in our learning and growth around DEI. Wherever you are at in your DEI learning, I hope you will watch this video and think critically about the main points no matter how uncomfortable it may feel.

TEDTalk

How to let go of being a “good” person—and become a better Person
Dolly Chugh at TED@BCG
October 2018

Here are a few things from the video I want to remember:

  • “Bounded rationality is the Nobel Prize-winning idea that the human mind has limited storage resources, limited processing power, and as a result, it relies on shortcuts to do a lot of its work.”
  • “At any given moment, 11 million pieces of information are coming into your mind. And only 40 of them are being processed consciously.”
  • When we make mistakes that threaten our attachment to being a good person, like mistakes that hurt other people or promote injustice despite our intentions, we explain them away rather than learning from them.
  • These types of mistakes make us fight for our good person identity. Whereas other types of mistakes, like in accounting or parenting, make us seek out help from others, training, and books and articles so we can learn from our mistakes and improve.
  • Most of the time no one calls us out on these kinds of mistakes. Most of the time no one challenges our good person identity. This means we don’t think much about the ethical implications of those mistakes and we spiral towards less and less ethical behavior.
  • When someone notices us make these kinds of mistakes and points it out or asks us about it, it feels like they are challenging our good person identity. In these cases we have to think about the implications of our mistake and we begin to spiral towards more and more ethical behavior.
  • “We have this definition of good person that’s either-or. Either you are a good person or you’re not. Either you have integrity or you don’t. Either you are a racist or a sexist or a homophobe or you’re not. And in this either-or definition, there’s no room to grow.”

Here are a few of the questions I am thinking about:

  • How can I practice finding my mistakes when people don’t call me out on them?
  • How am I going to work through the instinct to fight for my good person identity so my response doesn’t end there… so I can identify my mistake and start the work to learn from it?
  • How am I going to invite colleagues to call me out? If you notice a DEI mistake in this blog, please provide constructive feedback. We are at different places in our DEI learning and growth, and you may be ahead of me. If so, share some of your resources please!
  • How am I going to deal with the discomfort and embarrassment the next time someone calls out my mistakes so I can learn and improve?
  • What am I going to do next time I notice a colleague make a DEI mistake? If I address it, can I help them work through the instinct to fight for their good person identity and deal with the discomfort and embarrassment to foster learning instead of defensiveness?
  • Circling back to a previous post about being good enough, how do we library professionals support each other in being good-ish and good enough? How do we help each other through our mistakes, acknowledging that they have “real costs to real people,” in a way that fosters growth and improvement without feeding into the perfectionist tendencies many of us have? If we wait to implement DEI initiatives until we think we have the perfect plan, we will never do it and we’ve already waited too long to address institutional and historic racism in public libraries.

Being Good Enough

 It’s Okay to Be Good and Not Great (Brad Stulberg, Oct. 16, 2018, Outside) is an important reminder that it’s okay not to be perfect and provides some helpful advice.

Here are my key takeaways from the article:

  • This [good enough] mindset improves confidence and releases pressure because you don’t always feel like you’re coming up short.
  • It also lessens the risk of injury—emotional and physical—since there isn’t a perceived need to put forth heroic efforts every day.
  • The result is more consistent performance that compounds over time.
  • Research shows that sustainable progress, in everything from diet to fitness to creativity, isn’t about being consistently great; it’s about being great at being consistent. It’s about being good enough over and over again.

Here is the advice from the article that I think is particularly relevant to teen librarians and teens:

  • Accept where you are
  • Be patient
  • Be present
  • Be vulnerable
  • Foster an “in-real-life” community

 

YALSA opportunities: Summer Funding, Selected Booklists

The logo of YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services AssociationApply Now for the 2019 Summer Learning Grants!
Eligible YALSA members can now apply for the Summer Learning Resources Grant and the Teen Summer Intern Program Grant. Both grants are worth $1,000 each and are generously funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Twenty-five recipients will be selected for each grant. Apply by January 1, 2019.

Be on a Selected Booklist Blogging Team!
Are you interested in serving on a selected list blogging team in 2019? If so, please fill out this form by September 30, and indicate if you are interested in Quick Picks, Great Graphic Novels, Amazing Audiobooks, and/or Best Fiction for Young Adults. If you have questions, please contact Stephen Ashley, Hub Member Manager.

Slides for OLA 2018 Sessions Now Available

Whether or not you were able to join us in Eugene for OLA, you can now view the slides for most presentations on Northwest Central. Of particular interest to OYAN members:

Mark your calendars: the 2019 OLA-WLA Conference will be held at the Hilton Vancouver in Vancouver, WA from April 17-20, 2019!

YALSA opportunity: write for the YALSA blog!

The logo of YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services AssociationYALSA is looking for bloggers! This is a great way to get involved without having to travel to conferences, so if you’re a YALSA member, check out these details from their recruitment post:

We are looking for bloggers interested in writing about any of the following topics:

  • Connected Learning
  • Competencies for librarians/library workers engaging youth/li>
  • Advocacy/li>
  • Leadership in customer service/li>
  • Whole-library approach to serving teens/li>
  • Innovative programming/li>
  • Equity and diversity/li>
  • Youth participation/li>
  • Professional development/li>
  • Technology/li>
  • Administration/li>
  • Partnerships/li>
  • Spaces (physical & virtual)/li>
  • Evaluation/measuring outcomes and impact/li>
  • Teen trends/pop culture/li>
  • Research

We are also looking for bloggers interested in Instagram of the Week.

If you are interested in blogging please fill out the YALSA Volunteer Form (make sure to check the YALSAblog box) and the interest survey.

For more information check out the Blogger Guidelines and Blog Post Protocols.

We know there are Oregon librarians doing awesome work for and with teens — now’s your chance to tell the world! And who knows, you could win an award for it like Danielle Jones!