The ACRL-Oregon Board is proud to award this year’s ACRL-Oregon Award for Excellence to two excellent projects: Writing (Pacific Northwest) African American History into Wikipedia and the OLA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion/Anti-Racism Task Force. The ACRL-Oregon Award for Excellence is given to recognize a project that demonstrates excellence in the field by significantly improving Oregon academic libraries or librarianship. The Award for Excellence Committee uses a rubric to judge the projects, and both winning projects received exactly the same excellent score.
We are thrilled to recognize two projects that represent efforts to center BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) history in our region and the needs of BIPOC workers in our profession:
The Writing (Pacific Northwest) African American History into Wikipedia team recognized an information gap within Wikipedia related to African American history, especially for the Pacific Northwest. Librarians at Oregon State University organized Wikipedia Editathons to make this history more visible. As a result, they have not only increased access to information about Pacific Northwest African American history, but they have also trained new editors who can continue this work. They have held two Editathons and have had participation from students enrolled in OSU courses as well as community members. Overall the Editathons demonstrate a commitment to social justice by addressing Wikipedia’s well-documented racial bias and offer a valuable model for librarians and archivists to enact change. OSU Librarian Laurie Bridges led this effort along with a team that included OSU librarians Diana Park and Tiah Edmunson-Morton. This project was also written about in an OLA Quarterly article as part of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion issue in Fall 2019.
The OLA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion/Anti-Racism Task Force was charged by the Oregon Library Association Board in Fall 2019 with developing an EDI plan for the organization. The Task Force, which focused on anti-racism as its primary focus, presented its recommendations in Spring 2020 which were adopted by the OLA Board and have influenced the planning of the Oregon Association of School Librarians as well as ACRL-Oregon. According to Task Force Co-Chair, Marci Ramiro-Jenkins of the McMinnville Public Library, “this project will help with the implementation of anti-racist best practices, will promote education and guidance for librarians and library staff in regards to EDI and anti-racism best practices, will advocate for support for librarians of color when it comes to emotional labor, microaggressions and racial battle fatigue, and will improve the retention of library staff and patrons from underrepresented groups.” Ramiro-Jenkins shares this award with co-Chair Martín Blasco of Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Meredith Farkas of Portland Community College Library (who serves on the award committee and recused herself from the voting), Ayn Frazee of Portland Public Schools, Danielle Jones of Multnomah County Library, Max Macias of Portland Community College, Lisa Taylor of Happy Valley Library, and Alisa Williams of Multnomah County Library.
Both project leads will receive a plaque commemorating the award and will be recognized at the OLA Annual Conference’s awards ceremony.
ACRL-OR Award for Excellence Committee