LaQuanda and Lorin first met at the first annual University of North Carolina (UNC) Greensboro UNC-Greensboro Library Institute for resident librarians in September 2018. Immediately, their personal and professional relationship began to bloom. They connected with other residents, as well as with each other as early career librarians and women of color. Over time, interactions between LaQuanda and Lorin became more regular to discuss and compare their experiences. Moments of micro and macro-aggressions brought the two of them closer together. They also began to think they were not alone. We thought that more WOC, as well as POC, could benefit from a digital community forum regarding the state of affairs for folks like us in the field, without the narrative being constructed or dominated by other established channels. We wanted to give focus to residents, early career librarians, library and information science (LIS) students, paraprofessional staff, and all PT and FT library workers. We, ourselves, wanted to provide opportunities to contribute to the mainstream conversation regarding issues and new initiatives in the field.
Honestly, we want to hear what you have to say and we want to read what you want to write. We understand that writing, publication, scholarship, presentations, professional development, have all been difficult for many WOC and POC. We thought we could create another way to begin to explore that intimidating process with support in order to build repertoires and skills that could support you in the future. While we imagine that many of the things we talk about may be centered on our identities, any work that we do that we want to share is significant and welcome on this site. What you submit does not need to be about your race, your disability, your gender, and so forth. You can write about whatever you want. We just want to provide a platform.
In the traditions of many womanist, feminist, Black, Indigenous, and class-struggle-identified publications work as deeply grounded in a social justice/grassroots framework, we realized there weren’t many spaces for us and we want to make one ourselves for ourselves.
Lorin works as a Research and Instruction Resident Librarian at Swarthmore College, proud recipient of a 2019 Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Excellence in Academic Libraries award. Before becoming an academic librarian, Lorin worked with under-served youth in the non-profit and educational sector for a decade. During this time, she held positions as a teacher and Program Associate in after-school youth development programs in the Bay Area. Lorin graduated from Haverford College with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Education. Later, she attended the California Institute of Integral Studies to receive her Master’s degree in Philosophy and Religion. For Library and Information Science, Lorin received her Master’s of Information from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. In her spare time, Lorin likes animation, photography, DJing, and crafting. Follow her @lorinland on Twitter. She uses she/them pronouns.
LaQuanda T. Onyemeh works as Diversity Resident Librarian at Texas A&M University Libraries. She is a 2017-2018 ALA Spectrum Scholar and 2018 NASIG’s John Riddick Student Grant Recipient who received her MLIS from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her B.S. Dual Degree in Psychology and Sociology at The College at Brockport SUNY. From 2016-2017, she served as a Remote Metadata Intern for Law Library of Congress where she contributed to The Hein Project by creating metadata and keywords from historical legal material to promote open access initiatives. LaQuanda previously worked as Human Rights Intern for New York State Division of Human Rights in 2012. Before these positions, LaQuanda worked with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for an non-profit human services agency in Upstate, NY for over eight years.
She is currently completing her M.Ed. in Education Technology at Texas A&M. LaQuanda has a passion for creating an effective and efficient learning environment for all learning styles. Her current interests are E-learning & Distance Education, Diversity in Librarianship, and Education Technology. In her spare time, LaQuanda enjoys painting, visiting family and friends, and music. Her pronouns are she, her, and hers. Follow her on twitter at @LOnyemeh
Professor Malikah Hall is a junior faculty member at Texas A&M School of Law. Professor Hall joined the School of Law in 2017 after serving in the Cornell University Law Library as a Diversity Fellow, Research Services Librarian, and Lecturer-in-Law. She has taught courses in lawyering, legal research, and legal analysis. Her subject expertise is legal history. Professor Malikah earned her Juris Doctor degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Law and her Master of Library Science degree summa cum laude from the North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences.
Juanita Thacker works as the Weekend/Assistant Stacks Manager in the Access Services Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Juanita was also the recipient of a LAUNC- CH scholarship to attend the 2019 Library Association of the University of North Carolina at a Chapel Hill conference. She is a Fall 2019 candidate for the Masters of Library of Information Studies degree at UNC Greensboro. Juanita received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Education/Information Technology from East Carolina University.
She has over 20 years of experience working with diverse users in various types of libraries including: traditional academic, public, law school, and performing arts. Juanita enjoys the collaborative nature of librarianship. Her professional interests include instructional design, digital literacy, multimedia creation, connected learning, equity/inclusion, and professional development. Juanita loves many genres of music, appreciates art, enjoys traveling, dining out with friends, and visiting museums. Her pronouns are she and her. Follow her on LinkedIn at here!
Jaena Rae Cabrera is the acting branch manager and adult services librarian for the Excelsior Branch of the San Francisco Public Library. At Excelsior, Jaena provides leadership for her 17 staff members and community, conducts outreach in the community, as well as coordinates programs, events and exhibits for the branch, and occasionally at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is also on the Cultural Awareness Committee for SFPL, which reviews and advises on system-wide practices and policies related to culturally relevant programming, exhibits, and outreach
She has a Bachelor’s in journalism from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. Before becoming a librarian, she was a web producer for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Jaena is also on the committee that hosts and organizes the Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco.
Currently, Jaena is a member-at-large on the APALA board. Her interests include intersectionality, diversity, and equity in LIS, mental health, and the literary Filipino diaspora. In her free time, she watches reruns of her favorite shows, tinkers on her blog, explores the Bay Area via hikes, and spends way too much time on libraryland Twitter.
Jameil Johnson is a Jamaican-American Graphic Artist based in Philadelphia. Primarily, his work has been centered in community justice based works. He currently serves as the Digital Literacy Instructor at the Critical Path Learning Center (a program of Philadelphia FIGHT). I facilitate computer literacy classes to returning citizens as well as design the marketing materials for the programming there; from flyers to signage, to logos, and etc.
Originally from Bridgeport Connecticut, Jameil began his journey into graphic design at Eastern Connecticut state university where he studied Mass Communication Advertising. After graduating he began working as a Social Media and Content Creator at Hearst Media. His interests include animation, comic books, science fiction novels, and traveling.