Associate Director The New York Public Library Long Island, New York
Full Program Description (for use in the outline scheduler)Given the current racial climate and ALA’s Core Values on diversity and life-long learning, it is essential for librarians to refresh their Black History Month (BHM) programming. The ALA’s Black Caucus collaborated with the Public Library Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the University of Michigan, and others on an IMLS-funded project to create a taxonomy of BHM programming. Attendees will have an opportunity to evaluate and critique the taxonomy, learn about the variety of BHM programming currently being conducted in public libraries, and leave the session with new ideas.
While virtually every public library across the U.S. conducts some program during BHM, there has never been a systematic study to assess the content, scope, target age groups, and focus of that programming. The Institute for Museum and Library Service (IMLS) awarded the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) a planning grant to, among other things, develop a taxonomy of Black History Month programming and a draft of a proposal for a national study to assess BHM programming. A National Advisory Committee oversaw the project and included representatives from the BCALA, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the Public Library Association (PLA), the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), Project Outcome, the National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment, and the Program for Research on Black Americans (PRBA) at the University of Michigan.
In addition to learning more about the project and providing feedback on the Taxonomy as well as the national study, participants will learn about the ongoing work of the ASALH. They are the organization that designates the Black History Month theme each year, publishes a Black History Month Bulletin annually, and can provide other resources libraries can use to create impactful BHM programming.
Given the ALA’s Strategic Direction on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ALA, 2017), it is very timely to be able to offer innovative programming ideas that celebrate the contributions of African Americans.
Upon completion, participants will critique and evaluate the BCALA’s Taxonomy of Black History Month programming in public libraries.
Upon completion, participants will gain knowledge regarding the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s annual Black History Month theme and resources to support programming.
Upon completion, participants will synthesize information from current project to contribute to the design of a national study to evaluate BHM programming in public libraries.