This session, sponsored by the African American Medical Librarians Alliance AAMLA of the Medical Library Association, will provide attendees with an overview of implicit bias, the impact it has in libraries and in health care, and more importantly how it stands in the way of diversity and inclusion initiatives on our campuses. An implicit bias occurs when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge. Addressing the diversity and inclusion issues in librarianship have been a stated priority in librarianship for a number of years yet the profession continues to struggle with operationalizing the concepts in our work. There are a number of efforts to diversify librarianship yet librarianship remains to be a largely homogenous profession. The demographic makeup of US communities continues to change, so it's imperative that the library workforce reflects the community being served. A number of contributing factors have been identified that impact the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the profession. One of the identified contributing factors is implicit bias. Growing research indicates that implicit biases impacts the actions we take and decisions we make in our personal and professional lives. In the work setting, implicit biases are likely a contributing factor to the lack of diversity in librarianship as it likely impacts who gets hired, which programs get funded, and which services are offered. The invited speaker for this session will define implicit bias, provide examples of what it looks like in the workplace, and offer strategies that librarians may use to identify and overcome their own biases.
Medical University of South Carolina