OVERDUE Podcast: Weeding Out Oppression in Libraries
OVERDUE: Weeding Out Oppression in Libraries is a podcast produced and hosted by the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Antiracism Committee of the Oregon Library Association (OLA). The podcast works to shine light on the radical inequities and the oppressive nature of the library profession, specifically as it pertains to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) professionals and the communities they serve. This podcast is for everyone working in libraries, as EDI and antiracism work is a part of every library.
The primary objectives for the committee were:
- To highlight and amplify voices, perspectives and experiences of library professionals of color while compensating them for their knowledge and time
- To share actionable tools and suggestions for creating antiracist spaces and communities
- To create a way to relieve the weight of providing EDI and antiracism education from our BIPOC colleagues working in oppressive spaces.
The idea and groundwork for the podcast began in the fall 2021 as a next step in the work of the OLA EDI & Antiracism Committee, and the first episode launched in 2022. Ongoing work from librarians and library staff across the state of Oregon, working together to center equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism in the work of all libraries in Oregon, led to the creation of the podcast:
- December 2019: a group of librarians met with OLA leadership to discuss the creation of EDI best practices for OLA.
- January 2020: creation of the OLA EDI Task Force to create EDI recommendations for OLA. Recommendations included adding antiracism as a main focus of the EDI effort.
- July of 2020: the Task Force became an OLA Special Committee, later becoming a full committee of OLA.
- Early 2021: the committee launched the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Antiracism Toolkit (PDF) with a series of trainings, a statewide library survey and presentations of survey results.
OVERDUE: Weeding Out Oppression in Libraries began its first season interviewing Marci Ramiro-Jenkins, the project director and guiding creator of the OLA EDI & Antiracism Toolkit, and a leading advocate and champion for EDI, antiracism and anti-oppression work in Oregon libraries and communities. Following episodes connect with different areas of the toolkit, while highlighting the work done by innovative librarians and library leaders in Oregon and the wider United States. Some highlights from Season One include conversations with:
- Dr. Debbie Reese of the American Indians in Children’s Literature blog that focuses on the importance of accurate representation in literature for children
- Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association and one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2023
- Yago Cura, Max Macias and Autumn Anglin, the creative team behind the Librarians with Spines book series
In the second season and beyond, the podcast continues to build upon the work that came before, highlighting EDI and antiracism work and challenges through voices of BIPOC professionals doing the work.
Funding and production of this podcast is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon.