I attended the Rochester Regional Library Council(RRLC) 2018 Conference on October 23rd. This was my first professional presentation. The experience was surreal because it was happening at the Strong Museum of Play and we were co-presenting with the University of Rochester. At the time of the conference, my family and I had a membership at the Strong Museum of Play so to be there professionally was a cool moment. Also, I completed my practicum at the Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester so co-presenting with some of the librarians from the River Campus was a full circle moment for me. I would suggest taking a look at the program since there were many workshops about inclusion. RRLC Inclusive Conference 2018
The journey of inclusion should be a lifelong reckoning and call to action with oneself. We will all make mistakes so we must have grace with ourselves, however, just do not continue making the same mistakes which will lead to hurt and resentment from people that we are trying to include.
I appreciated the opportunity to speak about my experiences as a diversity fellow. Also, I was supported by my Library Director and coordinator/mentor. I was honored to know that they believed in my ability to speak in front of our fellow colleagues. Furthermore, I was happy to share that I knew about residency and fellowship programs when I was getting my Masters. And that choosing to apply to this diversity fellowship position was not an accident.
I do not know if RRLC will do another inclusive conference this year but if they do I will attend. By attending the conference I was able to connect with professionals that were willing to consider ways of how our profession can be more inclusive. I am willing to do the work and I hope that my fellow colleagues are willing to do the work as well. Maya Angelou reminds us, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”