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Tech Forum 2020 recap: Equity & inclusion

Filed under: Tech Forum

Welcome to our last Tech Forum 2020 recap. This time, we’ve listed sessions that go over matters of diversity, equity, inclusion, biases, and more.

Diversity benchmarking: Improving diversity and inclusion in library collections

An area of need that has emerged from American libraries and the American publishing industry is the need for diverse books. Canadian libraries have a similar need, but does the American publishing industry reflect the unique minority populations found in Canada? Laina Kelly, Librarian, Library Development Services at Yellowhead Regional Library looked at the YA collection of a medium-sized library branch, analyzing the diverse content of each book, as well as author minority identities. This presentation builds on BookNet Canada’s report Demand for Diversity and reveals areas of diversity specific to Canadian populations that are needed in library collections.


Be seen be heard: A workshop to help you reclaim power in your career

This workshop led by Cynthia Pong, Feminist Career Strategist & Founder at Embrace Change is for anyone who identifies as a woman, BIPOC, a nonbinary person, or LGBTQQIP2SAA and wants actionable, high-impact tools and strategies to empower themselves in their day-to-day — and in their overall career trajectory.

In this highly-practical workshop, you will:

  • identify the main ways in which you feel disempowered and held back in your organization or career;

  • learn key tools and strategies to tackle those obstacles; and

  • craft an individualized accountability plan for making positive change in your career.

Why are women always talking to men in novels? A conversation about debiasing books using data analytics

Andrew Piper, Professor at McGill University discusses the importance of debiasing and how it challenges the common stereotypes that govern how individuals are represented in creative works today and how it raises a host of challenging questions: When is bias part of the story? Are we limiting authors’ freedom? How might readers react to these changes? What kinds of new markets do less “familiar” books open up (or close down)? How can we work with authors to think about little changes that gradually add-up to building new imaginary worlds?


Don’t believe everything you think: How to spot and overcome your hidden biases at work

Michelle Grocholsky is the founder and owner of Empowered, a boutique consulting firm on a mission to make equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) an innate part of how organizations and their people operate. In this session, Michelle challenges participants to recognize their hidden biases and work towards a more mindful and objective way of thinking.


The power and necessity of author care

Navigating the publishing terrain can be tricky for authors and for various reasons. This presentation led by Cynara Geissler, Director of Marketing and Publicity at Arsenal Pulp Press and Chelene Knight, Founder of Breathing Space Creative does not only speak to what author care looks like, but Cynara and Chelene also empower organizations to create their own tools for authors while reducing burnout.


These and more Tech Forum presentations can be found on our YouTube channel, BNC blog, and podcast. You can also consult this schedule — all the sessions listed in purple have free online content available.