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Beyond Diversity Initiatives: Recruitment of BIPOC into Archives and Special Collections Librarianship

  • December 10, 2020
  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Webinar
  • 147


Beyond Diversity Initiatives: Recruitment of BIPOC into Archives and Special Collections Librarianship

Thursday, December 10, 2020

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)

Webinar Description:

The purpose of this webinar is to discuss how Special Collections and Archives departments in academic libraries can provide mentorship and viable/meaningful professional development opportunities for BIPOC. Despite the growing focus on diversity and recruitment by library schools and institutions like SAA, ALA, ACRL among others, BIPOC not only remains underrepresented in the field, but many continue to encounter barriers within library cultures. As many diversity initiatives often focus on current LIS students or those with expressed interest in the profession, this panel will discuss how institutions can leverage their strengths to build and foster diversity programs aimed to recruit prospective undergraduate and graduate students, and library staff and student workers into the profession.

Based on critical pedagogy, and nontraditional and student-centered approaches, the Cal State LA Special Collections & Archives Student Assistant Program is designed to support and mentor students with potential in the field. Cal State LA is one of the largest and most diverse campuses in the CSU system and is uniquely positioned to recruit students into the profession by embedding community-centered archival practices into primary source instruction, outreach and reference services, and the library student worker experience. Topics discussed by the panelists will include: fostering and mentoring students; intentional engagement; student outreach; developing student agency; and the panelists’ personal experiences navigating the profession.

The intended audience is special collections and archives personnel in various institutions. The session will proceed as a panel and will invite the audience to discuss, generate, and share ideas/initiatives that can be implemented in their respective institutions/organizations.

The cost is $10 for SCA members; $5 for student members; $20 for non-members; and $5 for unemployed or precariously employed individuals. All registrants will receive a link to the webinar recording after the webinar is completed.


Azalea Camacho is the Archivist & Special Collections Librarian at the University Library of California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA). She oversees the operations of the Special Collections and Archives unit in the Library, which includes archival processing and maintenance (accessioning, processing, and cataloging); supervision of staff, students, and volunteers; coordinating the instruction program and public services; and managing the library’s exhibits program. Over the past 6 years at Cal State LA she has worked to strengthen community partnerships and foster student curiosity in the field by providing engaging opportunities for the campus community. Through her work she strives to preserve and make accessible the diverse lives reflected in the heavily diverse student population of Cal State LA and the BIPOC communities in the greater Los Angeles area.

Amalia Castañeda is the Resident Archivist at Cal State, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and serves on the Board of Directors at the Museum of Social Justice. At CSUDH, she teaches information literacy courses and coordinates a diversity initiative of the library dean’s office, the Library Careers Training Program for Students (LibCATS). Her research interests include racial and ethnic diversity in special collections librarianship, and the relationship between “urban renewal” and historical preservation in Progressive Era Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor’s degree and an MLIS from UCLA, and a master’s degree in History from Cal State, Los Angeles.

Karina Cardenas is the Special Collections and Archives Assistant at CSU Fresno. She is the first point of access for reference requests and research appointments. She is a member of the Library Diversity Committee and is interested in student engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the archival field. She also assists with class collaborations and curating exhibitions. She is pursuing an MLIS from San Jose State and holds a Master’s in History from Cal State LA.

Who should attend:

Everyone interested in learning about organizing efforts and considerations to provide mentorship and viable/meaningful professional development opportunities for BIPOC.

Registration is open until December 7. Online payment is required.

  • Questions about your membership? Contact Alix Norton
  • Questions about Registration? Contact Christine Kim
  • Problems with your credit card payment? Need to request a refund involving credit card or PayPal? Contact Lara Michele
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