IS Diversity Council to Present Colloquium, Nov. 7 at UCLA

Event will bring students, faculty, and experts together to examine importance of diversity in archives, libraries, and other information venues.

The Information Studies Diversity Council will present a colloquium titled, “Why Diversity Matters in Information Studies: A Roundtable Discussion” on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. in the GSE&IS Building, Room 111. The event will include presentations by IS faculty including Michelle Caswell, Ellen Pearlstein, and Ramesh Srinivasan. Recent IS graduate Melissa Camaiore (’13, MLIS), winner of the IS Diversity Paper Award, will also present her work on the information needs of migrant labor communities. The keynote speaker is Richard Chabran, a formative figure in the history of Chicano studies libraries. He will present, “Teaching Disruptive Technologies in a Diverse 21st Century Society.”

Professor Srinivasan, who chairs the Council, is currently collaborating with Native American, Egyptian, and rural Indian cultures on projects that explore how technology can support diverse values and visions.

“The diversity council brings together departmental alumni, diverse communities in Los Angeles, students, and faculty to explore in an ever-changing world where information is critical, how and why diversity matters,” he says.

“The event will provide a forum for IS student and faculty who are interested in promoting diversity in the department to come together to discuss important issues and work on future strategies,” says Caswell, who has done extensive research on the Tuol Sleng Prison archive in Phnom Penh and its collection of photographs of victims of the Khmer Rouge.

“Diversity has always been central within information studies at UCLA,” says Pearlstein, who teaches conservation and preservation classes and works with tribal museums of the Agua Caliente tribe and the Tulalip tribe in Washington state. “The students are offered opportunities to study issues of diversity as related to archives, libraries, and information work in general at both the master’s and doctoral levels. Community work is instilled through the classroom for example, through service learning and students are taught the value of equal access through information and to think deeply about diverse users as well as cross-cultural exchanges of information.”

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