Month: June 2018

Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

mango-may-2018-celebrate-diversityOn November 2, 2001, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France. This Declaration defines “Cultural Diversity” or “Multiculturalism” as the harmonious co-existence and interaction of different cultures, where “culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature; lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs”. This Declaration lead to the United Nations first ever celebration of the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. In December 2002, the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 57/249 that declared May 21 each year as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. This day is intended to give an opportunity to help communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together. It’s an occasion to promote world culture and highlight the significance of diversity as an agent of inclusion and positive change. It celebrates not only the richness of the world’s cultures, but the essential role of intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.

This is important to libraries for many reasons. Libraries serve diverse interests and communities. We function as learning, cultural, and information centers driven by our commitment to the principles of fundamental freedoms and equity of access to information and knowledge for all. This point was also buttressed in UNESCO’s first ever Cultural Diversity Publication Series, launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, in which UNESCO states that libraries and cultural centers, as part of their new missions, must “strive to promote the actors and expressions of cultural diversity in such a way as to ensure that as many people as possible are exposed – and enjoy access – to the wealth of that diversity”.

These values were further expanded on in the IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto that stipulates that each individual has the right to a full range of library and information services, and that libraries should adhere to 4 main principles of cultural diversity:

  1. Serve all members of the community without discrimination based on cultural and linguistic heritage;
  2. Provide information in appropriate languages and scripts;
  3. Give access to a broad range of materials and services reflecting all communities and needs;
  4. Employ staff to reflect the diversity of the community, who are trained to work with and serve diverse communities.

This Manifesto supports ALA’s interpretations of “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries” (2012), which advocates to “support diversity skills training and diversity education—including the exploration of social justice, privilege and oppression, and fear and anger around cultural diversity issues—in a safe environment that allows for discussion and reflection”. Libraries are in the unique position to celebrate culture’s manifold forms, from the tangible and intangible, to the diversity of cultural expressions, and reflect on how these contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, and the social, environmental and economic vectors of sustainable development. The core activities of library and information services for culturally and linguistically diverse communities are central, not “separate” or “additional”, and should always be designed to meet local or specific needs.

In 2013, The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in partnership with UNESCO and a wide coalition of partners from corporations to civil society launched the world campaign “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion”, aimed at engaging people around the world to Do One Thing to support Cultural Diversity and Inclusion. This campaign:

  • Raises awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion;
  • Build a world community of individuals committed to supporting diversity with real and everyday-life gestures;
  • Combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.

Do one thing today to support cultural diversity. Read a book by an author from a different culture, reach out to a diverse staff and let them know how much you appreciate their presence at work, be creative, and as always, feel free to reach out to the FSU Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Committee with your ideas.  

Written by Mohamed Berray, Social Sciences Librarian | Coordinator for Government Information, Florida State University Libraries

Resources

  1. United Nations World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: http://www.un.org/en/events/culturaldiversityday/
  2. UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/culturaldiversityday
  3. IFLA/UNESCO Multicultural Library Manifesto: “The Multicultural Library – a gateway to a cultural diverse society in dialogue: https://www.ifla.org/node/8976
  4. UNESCO Cultural Diversity Series No. 1. Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity: A Vision, A Conceptual Platform, A Pool of Ideas for Implementation, A New Paradigm. A Document for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 26 August – 4 September, 2002. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001271/127162e.pdf.
  5. Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries (2012): http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/diversity

Curriculum Mapping: An Overview

Guest blog by FSU Student, Carolyn Dang.

Curriculum mapping is a method of analyzing an academic program to find important motifs between courses (Buchanan et al., 2015). Based on the analysis, a support system can be created to help students achieve the learning objectives. Curriculum mapping seeks to answer three main questions:

  • What is taught?
  • How is it taught?
  • When is it taught?

By collaborating with faculty members and identifying core skills, the perception of the library can also change. The library is traditionally seen as giving scholarly products. However by using curriculum mapping, students can begin using the library for scholarly processes (Booth and Mathews, 2012).

Curriculum mapping + Student = ?

For most courses, I print out the two most important pages of the syllabus; the first and the last. Why? As a student, I care about the grading scale, textbook requirement, and the list of due dates. I think those are the three main pillars a student needs to be successful in a class, but what are supporting those pillars? How do we connect those pillars to create a better foundation for students?

The daily schedule for a student may include (1) attending lecture, (2) finding the assignment/exam that is due, (3) crying in the library trying to figure out what they don’t know, (4) going home, (5) rinse and repeat.

FSU libraries provides resources to students such as late night tutoring, software tutorials (through Lynda.com), and research assistance. Having worked at the Learning Common’s circulation desk for the past two and a half years, I have noticed that some students are more reactive rather than proactive. Students tend to run into major problems closer to the deadline. For instance, not understanding how to use a program or cramming five textbook chapters before the night of an exam.

I think that curriculum mapping will have positive effects on students academically and professionally. By providing resources that are catered to student’s classes, students have the opportunity to be more prepared for deadlines. This may help alleviate a burden on technology and tutoring staff with an influx of students the night before. By curriculum mapping courses, library staff have more time to prepare resources based on the course schedules and provide higher quality services to students. As mentioned by Moser et al. (2011), curriculum mapping is a method to help students connect the dots between the skills they have learned. A tight collaboration between librarians and faculty will help staff identify gaps within the student’s learning. Therefore, the library can provide supplemental resources and events to help students.

One of the resources created can be workshops. Although the main reason for workshops would be to teach students different resources, it can be an additional networking opportunity. By clustering students from the same departments in a workshop, this gives students a chance to create connections with their peers.

As a student, I think that curriculum mapping has the potential to create positive outcomes. It would construct a more collaborative, in-sync learning and teaching environment for students, faculty, and library staff. It will be interesting to see how curriculum mapping will work with a diverse set of courses and number of departments.

Sources: 

Booth, C., & Mathews, B. (2012, April 7). Understanding the Learner Experience: Threshold Concepts … Retrieved from http://www.carl-acrl.org/conference2012/2012CARLproceedings/Understanding%20the%20Learner%20Experience_BoothMathews2012.pdf

Buchanan, H., Webb, K. K., Houk, A. H., & Tingelstad, C. (2015). Curriculum Mapping in Academic Libraries. New Review Of Academic Librarianship21(1), 94-111. doi:10.1080/13614533.2014.1001413

Moser, M., Heisel, A., Jacob, N., & McNeill, K. (2011, April 2). A More Perfect Union: Campus Collaborations for Curriculum Mapping Information Literacy Outcomes. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/national/2011/papers/more_perfect_union.pdf

The Pride Student Union Records, 1964-2015

By: Hannah Wiatt Davis

We are excited to announce our most recently processed collection, the Pride Student Union Records, 1964-2015. Now a major fixture in the Student Government Association, the collection documents Pride’s predecessor organizations and their steps towards becoming an official agency, introducing non-discrimination policies on campus, and empowering FSU’s LGBTQ+ population.

In 1969, gay and lesbians in Tallahassee organized the People’s Coalition for Gay Rights, which later became the Alliance for Gay Awareness, as a response to the Stonewall Riots. The group was primarily a political organization active in the gay rights movement of the 1970s. In 1973, staff of the University Mental Health Center (now the Student Counseling Center) formed Gay Peer Counseling to provide support and counseling for gays and lesbian students. It became the most active LGBTQ+ group on campus in the early 1970s. In 1978, the group evolved into the Gay Peer Volunteers (GPV), which provided students opportunities for services in the community outside of the counseling environment. To include all students directly served by this student organization, the Gay Peer Volunteers changed its name to the Gay/Lesbian Student Union (GLSU) in 1989, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Student Union (LGBSU) in 1994, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Student Union (LGBTSU) in 1998, and finally Pride Student Union in 2005.

dragwarsThere are several other auxiliary groups at FSU that have served the LGBTQ+ population. In 1984, Gay/Lesbian Support Services formed to continue and expand upon the goals and services of the preceding organizations.  In the 1990s, a specialist in student counseling continued the mission of GPV by founding Gay and Lesbian Allies (GALA), which was later absorbed by Tallahassee LGBTQ+ community center, Family Tree. Safe Zone-Tallahassee was founded in 1997 as a response to FSU administration to fund an LGBTQ+ committee or office space. In 2012, Safe Zone was revamped into Seminole Allies & Safe Zones, and provides workshops to students, faculty, and staff.

The collection contains administrative records, promotional materials, artwork and banners, newspapers, and journal and magazine clippings produced and collected by the organization since the late 1960s. Spanning from meeting minutes to posters for drag shows, protest banners and queer literature, the Pride Student Union Records provide a varied look at the voices of the LGBTQ+ community in Tallahassee.

To see more photographs, ephemera, and artifacts related to the history of Florida State, check out the FSU Heritage Protocol Digital Collections or like the Heritage Protocol Facebook page.