Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL

home : city news : city news August 21, 2017

7/26/2017 6:47:00 PM
Library Board Hears Equity Update, Honors Delores Holmes
By Mary Helt Gavin


Meeting with new officers, the Library Board of Trustees on July 19 heard City Equity and Empowerment Coordinator Patricia Efiom describe the process she envisions for the Library.

The new officers are Benjamin Schapiro, President; Tori Foreman, Vice President; Vaishali Patel, Secretary; and Shawn Iles, Treasurer. Although the terms of three trustees – Mr. Iles, Margaret Lurie, and Ms. Patel – expired on June 30, Mayor Steve Hagerty has said he would not make any new appointments or reappointments until after the Library has undergone its equity evaluation and training.

Mr. Schapiro began the meeting by praising the work of trustee Michael Tannen, who retired last month as President and who was unable to attend the meeting.

Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons said she has interviewed seven consultants and hopes to be able to bring a recommendation to the bBoard in August. She said the consultant will likely find things the Library is doing well and things that could be improved. Recruitment, retention, and communication will be key issues. “We will relate this work to our strategic plan and our ongoing work,” she said.

 “It’s important that we have a thought-leader, and one who has experience around equity, to describe the process and look internally [and externally] to engage the community in conversation,” Ms. Lyons also said. She added that she expected the equity consultant and process to be part of the budget decisions for 2018 and 2019.

Conversations about equity must involve the entire community, Ms. Lyons said, noting that the American Library Association has put equity, diversity, and inclusion at the top of its national agenda.  

Ms. Lyons also said the consultant would work “every step of the way” with Dr. Efiom. Equity work takes time and patience “to engage in the process of healing … so Evanston will be what we want it to be,” Dr. Efiom told the Board.

Turning to the West Branch Library planned for the new Robert Crown Center, Mr. Schapiro read a declaration from the Board honoring Delores Holmes for her long-time support of the Library and its efforts. In her honor, the new branch will have the Delores Holmes Community Meeting Room. Ms. Holmes retired from her position as Fifth Ward Alderman earlier this year.

“The honor is wonderful,” Ms. Holmes said. “I have always been in support of the Library. I’m very proud of the way you’re moving now. We have to let people speak for themselves. Most people of color can speak for themselves – they are willing to speak as long as you give them a chance. … Robert Crown is a good location – it may not be the best location but it is a good location. … Just remember, there’s always this side and that side, and somewhere in the middle is the truth.”

 







Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   



Click to View Upcoming Events
<August>
SMTWTFS
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Submit Event




HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsHow To
Copyright 2008-17 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved
Software © 1998-2017 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved


: