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Diversity and Outreach Roundtable (DORT)
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Leadership Roster

Emilie Hanson, Science House Librarian
Science Museum of Minnesota

Kathryn Pierce, Branch Librarian
East Central Regional Library



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November Newsletter

Call for Nominations: 2018 DORT Chair (2017 Chair-elect)

Nominate yourself or someone else to be the 2018 Chair/2017 Chair-elect of DORT! This position is highly flexible to support the ambitions of a self-motivated MLA member who is committed to working for greater equity and diversity through librarianship. Responsibilities of the Chair include participating in conference session selection, advising the MLA Board of Directors on developments in outreach and diversity (this role may grow over time), responding to requests for information from members and the public, coordinating DORT-sponsored conference sessions, and writing this newsletter every other month. The Chair may also develop new tasks as they see fit. They will spend their Chair-elect year learning the ropes by helping the current Chair complete their responsibilities. Prior Chairs are eligible to run for another term.
Please email name, title, and contact info of your nominee(s) to Sara Zettervall by Monday, 11/21/16. Ballots will be sent the following week for a decision before the December holidays.

Diversity and Maker Spaces: Your Help Needed!

DORT has been contacted by the Minnesota Elementary School Principals' Association. They would like to include a presentation on diversity in maker spaces at their annual conference in February and are looking for more information and/or suggestions for presenters on that topic. If you can refer them to some resources or suggest a presenter (it could be you!), please email Kelsey Ganzer, Communications Manager.

DORT at MLA: Wrap-up and Links

This year, DORT sponsored two sessions and held our annual meeting at MLA in Duluth. Here are the highlights:

  • Session: "Diversity! Move Your Collection Forward" - Our annual readers advisory session was especially energizing this year and sparked some great conversation on Twitter. Presentations focused on edgy recommendations for diverse teens and adults. The list of recommendations + bonus information is permanently available to all at
  • Session: "It's All About Relationships: Build Your Best Diversity Outreach" - One hour just wasn't enough for this panel of outreach experts. Panelists represented diverse communities and projects from across Minnesota and drew from backgrounds in education as well as librarianship. The strongest recommendation to come out of the session: approach communities with an open mind and a willingness to listen. Take time to show up and build relationships before creating expectations for results. Respect the perspective of others, even if it doesn't match your own experience. Our panelists had such a great time talking together that they're planning a reunion!
  • DORT Annual Meeting - Though small and speedy, the annual meeting brought forth encouraging ideas for the future. Incoming MLA President Amy Boese is very interested in hearing from DORT members with ideas for conference keynote speakers and programs. MALF - the MN Association of Library Friends - is also very interested in supporting DORT, possibly through community conversations on issues of diversity. Finally, we've been encouraged to consider developing an all-day event or preconference for a future MLA so that we can do a deep dive into issues of equity and diversity.

And with that, I wrap up my final newsletter as Chair. Emilie Hanson will kick off her term as Chair with the next newsletter in January. It's been a pleasure to serve you all.

Sara Zettervall, Chair
Emilie Hanson, Chair-elect

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