Breaking Barriers: Hiring for “Diversity?”

Online Event
April 14, 2021 at 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

The School of Information Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee present
Breaking Barriers: Hiring for “Diversity?”

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has become a central component to librarianship. DEI skills and acumen is commonplace and an expected attribute to the ethic and portfolio of librarians on the market. And it should be! Often, this comes in the form of Critical librarianship as an emerging new frame that may apply concepts of equity, race, and the integration of systems of power.

In this conversation-style panel, Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, visiting assistant professor at Pratt School of Information will introduce and be in conversation with Kai Alexis Smith, Alum (BFA ‘05, MSLIS ‘13) and Architecture and Planning Librarian at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Anastasia “Stacy” Collins (she/her/hers), Research & Instruction Librarian for Children’s Literature and Social Work at the Simmons University Library. They will share stories, best practices for what to do for DEI in our work, and how emerging librarians and information professionals, like you, may consider your personal approach to DEI.

tl:dr: Witness a conversation among three librarians of color on best practices for incorporating DEI into their work.

Kai Alexis Smith is the Architecture and Planning Librarian at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a current Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Leadership and Career Development Program fellow. Kai holds leadership positions in the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).  She is the incoming Advancement Liaison on the ARLIS/NA executive Board, the co-moderator of the Architecture and Planning Section and formerly served as the chair of the Diversity Committee.

Kai has a strong interest in shared and open knowledge and organizes Wikipedia edit-a-thons around topics for and training BIPOC communities at the intersection of the arts, architecture, and planning. She is the founder of BIPOC in the Built Wikipedia project. Kai believes in not only serving the library community but also her local community as an incoming member of the Cambridge Public Arts Commission. She is a vision impaired visual artist working in the mediums of photography and painting.

Anastasia “Stacy” Collins (she/her/hers) holds an M.S. in LIS and an M.A. in Children’s Literature, and is the Research & Instruction Librarian for Children’s Literature and Social Work at the Simmons University Library. She is the author of “Language, Power, and Oppression in the LIS Diversity Void” and the Simmons Anti-Oppression Guide. Outside of librarianship, Stacy is a children’s literature scholar and reviewer with Kirkus Reviews and Horn Book Magazine as well as a trauma-informed facilitator with the Anti-Racism Collaborative of Massachusetts. You can follow her online at @DarkLiterata.

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an archivist at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, an Assistant Curator and Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement at New York University Division of Libraries. She is a Co-Chair for the board of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY and chair of the Archives committee. Shawn has a BS in Queer Women’s Studies from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction, and an MLS with a focus on Archiving and Records Management from Queens College. She is the 2020 recipient of the WGSS Award for Significant Achievement, sponsored by Duke University Press, administered by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Libraries Association, for her work archiving and exhibiting the Salsa Soul Sisters, the first lesbian of color organization in the country.

Open to the Pratt Institute Community: You can access the Zoom meeting link via your Pratt Google Drive.


Pratt strives to make all programs, services and activities accessible, and will provide assistance to accommodate any individuals with disabilities. Security personnel, located at booths at 200 Willoughby Avenue and other campus locations, are available for assistance. Additional accessibility resources are available at

school of information and library science


No upcoming occurrences in the timeframe specified (next 3 months from todays' date) for this event.

VIEW Today, This Week or This Month

Pratt Online Consent Agreement

By clicking agree or continuing to surf this site's pages you understand that Pratt Institute may collect information that has been provided by you. To learn more about Pratt’s privacy policy, visit