Editors note: This page is the home of all "Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers" training programs offered by Becky and Robin, either alone or together. Our scheduled events and links to any handouts are available on the Recent and Upcoming Presentations Page.
Here is the program description for the series of training programs Robin and I provide.
Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers
Increasing the collection and circulation of titles written by underrepresented authors is not a trend, rather, providing robust readers’ advisory service that values equity, diversity and inclusion principles is essential to all library service. But moving from being a neutral, well-meaning library where systemic racism is acknowledged to an actively anti-racist organization involves work, some of which is uncomfortable at first. In this program you will begin that work, learning tangible skills to help build enthusiasm for reading and discovering "diverse" books, to deepen RA service through thoughtful inclusion of EDI principles in all interactions with leisure readers, and to be a steward of the anti-racist mindset for your organization. Readers’ Advisory and Collection Development experts Becky Spratford and Robin Bradford will move your team from merely discussing "why" putting EDI concerns at the forefront of all of your work with leisure readers is important to the "how," including an honest look at action steps for all staff. While it may seem uncomfortable at first, Becky and Robin will help you shift your focus allowing your entire organization to craft an actionable plan to incorporate EDI values into your normal RA practices. All you need is a little nudge in the right direction and a commitment to begin the march forward.
Three things you need to agree to before contracting with us however:
- "Not-Racist" is a point of view but "Anti-Racist" requires action
- Libraries are NOT Neutral
- Those who are agreeing to become "Actively Anti-Racist" by contracting with us must be willing to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
How do we offer these programs? We have five options:
Option 1-- Asynchronous with Live Component: Becky and Robin set a date to appear before your group [virtually] for a 90 min live Q&A. We then pre-tape a foundational lecture with you [one by Robin and one by Becky] at least 6 weeks before the scheduled date. You have your staff watch these lectures at least 2 weeks before we appear live [although we think 4 weeks is better] and solicit their questions. Robin and Becky receive the questions from your staff at least 1 week before our live appearance. We then use those questions to start the live event, get the conversation going, and solicit more questions. If you have a larger staff and want them broken up into smaller groups, we can appear live another time for an extra $250 each.
Option 2-- Live: Becky and Robin can do a shortened version of the above in a 2-3 hour block. Becky and Robin will present shortened versions of their foundational lectures [60 mins] and then facilitate a live Q&A. If 3 hours, there will be a break and time for an exercise. This option works very well at library conferences but requires you give us back-to-back slots-- one for the foundational lectures and one for Q&A.
Pricing for Options 1 and 2 begins at $1,100 [$550 to each of us]
Option 3-- Becky Only: Due to Robin's full time job, she is not always available. Becky can provide a version of this training for your library virtually or in person. $550
Option 4-- Learn With NoveList : Becky and Robin have partnered with Learn With NoveList to offer what Robin and I have said publicly is the best version of this class for the least money. It has the same asynchronous learning options and a chance to meet with us live throughout the year, but it also allows those taking the class to work together to create lists and have conversations amongst themselves. This class is returning in 2024. Here are those details.
Option 5-- Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers: Excuse Busting Edition: In this version Becky delivers a program perfect as a keynote to start or end your staff day or conference. She takes the most common excuses for NOT making change that Robin and Becky have heard over the 3 years of engaging in these conversation with library workers from all across North America, and presents why they are wrong. It is a program that doubles down on the discomfort and challenges you organization to act by saying the most uncomfortable truths out loud and addressing them head on.
Pricing for Option 5 begins at $1,500 as it is a keynote. That cost includes me speaking at an opening session for a larger event and I can discuss staying to give other talks or be on a panel.
We are keeping the pricing of these programs as low as possible so that more libraries can afford them, we are also reaching out to state library conferences to provide these training programs which will make it even more affordable to individual libraries. Please note however, while I am available more often solo, due to Robin's full time library job we are limiting our partnered appearances to one library per month.
All inquires go through me. I will be handling all of the paperwork, scheduling, and contracts. Please note however, we are operating as separate contractors, not starting a new company. All paperwork including invoices will note that.
All contracts made with Becky and Robin will also include Becky's EDI Mission statement. Signature of a contract for services with Becky and Robin confirms your acceptance of this statement as well as the terms of our agreement. Please make sure you read that as there are libraries who have refused to contract with us over this statement.
If you are interested, reach out to me and we can begin the conversation. Every client has specific needs and we we want to make sure our training is customized to your needs. Since we are presenting once a month, our training program is being updated frequently.
I hope I have made this as clear as possible, but just in case you missed it, we are not playing around here. There is no more tiptoeing around these issues. 400 years of systemic oppression needs dismantling. It will be a long and hard process with heavy lifting required. This is not dainty work, but we are here to help you push up your sleeves and be a part of the solution. We will make every single person feel uncomfortable; in fact, if you don't feel l any discomfort after we are done, you need to sit with that and understand that you did not listen to us. We make ourselves uncomfortable.
For a sample of the the of training you will get from us, read my post entitled, "Books Are NOT Diverse, They Don't Have an Identity" and "How to Take A Stand and NOT Allow Hate Group to Use Your Programming Space."