Empowering Diverse Voices
ALA President Molly Raphael and Miguel Figueroa, Director of ALA's Office for Diversity, will discuss President Raphael's Diversity Leadership Initiative. They will cover the various elements and activities of the Initiative and the role of diversity leadership within libraries and LIS programs like SLIS. Participants will learn what's been done thus far, what we can expect over the next few months and strategies to extend the Initiative beyond Molly's term as ALA President.
Molly Raphael began her career as a youth librarian with the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL); she spent over 30 years with DCPL and eventually was appointed Director of that system. In 2003, Raphael was recruited to lead the award-winning Multnomah County Library (MCL) in Portland, Oregon. During her tenure, she increased diversity in library employment, collections and programming and was awarded the Arthur Flemming Civil Rights Award. Under her leadership, MCL achieved consistently top national rankings among urban public libraries and the highest gross circulation of any library in the country, surpassing libraries serving much larger populations. MCL, a nationally recognized leader in developing early literacy services and programs to reach out to underserved, culturally diverse communities, was selected in 2009 to receive the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor for museums and libraries.
Miguel Figueroa is the director of the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Diversity and the acting director of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS). He is co-editor of the book Staff Development Strategies That Work!: Stories and Strategies from New Librarians (Neal-Schuman, 2008). Prior to joining the American Library Association, he worked at the Middle Atlantic Regional Medical Library at the NYU Health Science Libraries and as associate director of publishing for Neal-Schuman Publishers. Figueroa graduated in 2003 from the Knowledge River Program, part of the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona (Tucson), with a strong focus on the impact of diversity on libraries and library services.