Engineering Change in Libraries

Engineering Change in Libraries: A Pathway for Meaningful Action

Is your library wanting to build community?
Join colleagues from around the world in learning and planning globally to create change locally.

The aim of Engineering Change in Libraries is to understand the Other and mobilize our libraries to provide more effective and equitable services and programs to underserved communities. Inspired by Dr. Agnes Kaposi, a catalyst for change and 31st Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture, Engineering Change is organized into two components: (1) the lecture (setting the context) and (2) a two-session workshop for library staff and stakeholders to engineer change in libraries in a process of understanding the Other and planning globally to create change locally

THE LECTURE

An engineer of change, Dr. Agnes Kaposi (Engineer, Educator, Holocaust survivor, Author of “Yellow Star-Red Star”, recipient of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), and 31st Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecturer), brings nearly a century of perspective as she tells her life story and the role of information as a source of power/control resulting in otherness, exclusion, propaganda, dislocation, as well as transformation in engineering change. A conversation, moderated by Dr. Valerie J. Matsumoto (George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair on the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community, UCLA), connects Dr. Kaposi’s experiences with those of other marginalized and dislocated groups worldwide, such as Japanese Americans, to identify similarities and differences across time and locations, in order to understand the Other and rethink some of the most pressing issues that libraries face in promoting equitable communities in our information-intensive and networked society. The 31st Annual Mortenson Distinguished Lecture took place on November 8, 2021. Watch recording at https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/media/t/1_ms3b4hao.

THE WORKSHOP

Engineer change in libraries in an international workshop to learn and plan globally to create change locally. Library staff and stakeholders are invited to attend a two-session workshop to understand the Other by learning from each other’s experiences and challenges, connect as a community of practice, engineer meaningful action, and implement the solution while supporting each other in their journeys to engineer real change in their libraries and communities.

Each interactive workshop, a pathway/process to engineer change in libraries, focuses on a specific area of action. It is presented in two 1.5-hour sessions, with the second session occurring two months following the first one, and virtual open consultation hours midway. The first session begins with a speaker introducing the topic; followed by group discussion of local experiences, brainstorming, and prioritizing an issue to be addressed; then collectively, participants develop an action plan that they will apply at their library. During a two-month period participants implement their action plan locally and have an opportunity to ask questions and obtain input midway through the process. After two months, the participants reconvene in the second session as a community of practice to reflect and improve on their action plan, as needed.

To understand the need to engineer change from one story of the Other/persecuted, participants are encouraged to listen to the recording of the Lecture.

WHO should attend? 

  • Library personnel, particularly those with responsibilities for public libraries, community libraries, school or academic libraries
  • Educators, researchers and students in university departments of librarianship and cognate disciplines
  • Library trustees, friends and volunteers
  • Government officials, policy makers, and others responsible for libraries
  • Library stakeholders 

HOW LONG are the workshops?

  • 1.5 hours per virtual workshop session
  • Each workshop is made up of 2 sessions, two months apart, with optional virtual open consultation midway

WHEN are the workshops, and WHAT is the focus of action?

  • Inaugural Workshop on Dislocation
    Feb 15, 2022; 8:00-9:30 am CT session 1 <RECORDING> | March 15, 8:00-9:30 am CT open consultation | April 19, 8:00-9:30 am CT session 2 <RECORDING>
  • Workshop on Propaganda
    March 1, 2022; 4:00-5:30 pm CT session 1 <RECORDING> | April 5, 4:00-5:30 pm CT open consultation | May 3, 4:00-5:30 pm CT session 2

Dr. Agnes Kaposi was born in Hungary in 1932, a year before Hitler came to power. She started school at the outbreak of World War II. Many of her family and friends were murdered in the Holocaust, together with half a million other Hungarian Jews, but a series of miracles and coincidences allowed her to survive. She worked at age 11 as a child labourer in the agricultural and armament camps of Austria and was liberated by a rampaging Soviet Army. She struggled through post-war hardship to re-enter Hungarian society, only to be caught up for a decade in the vice of Stalinism. In 1956, the Hungarian revolution offered the opportunity to escape. Entering Britain as a graduate engineer, she started a family and built a career as a researcher, educator and consultant. She was the third woman to become a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She is the author of a recent memoir co-written with historian Laszlo Csosz of University of Budapest, Yellow Star-Red Star (i2i Publications, Manchester).

More information on Dr. Agnes Kaposi here.

 

 

Order of the British Empire, Civil Division, Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, St. James’s Palace, London SW1

01 January 2022: THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following promotions in, and appointments to, the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: M.B.E.

To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order:
Dr. Agnes Aranka KAPOSI FREng, For services to Holocaust Education and Awareness.

Download PDF of this issue (Courtesy of: The Gazette/London Gazette, Published by Authority, Issue Number 63571, Supplement No. 1 of Friday 31 December 2021, NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST – UNITED KINGDOM, www.thegazette.co.uk)

Source: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/notice/3956805  

Yellow Star-Red Star is the poignant memoir of Dr Agnes Kaposi, a Hungarian-born British engineer, educator, author and Holocaust survivor.

Dr Agnes Kaposi was born in Hungary in 1932, a year before Hitler came to power. She started school at the outbreak of World War II. Many of her family and friends were murdered in the Holocaust, together with half a million other Hungarian Jews, but a series of miracles and coincidences allowed her to survive. She worked as a child labourer in the agricultural and armament camps of Austria and was liberated by a rampaging Soviet Army.

She struggled through post-war hardship to re-enter Hungarian society, only to be caught up for a decade in the vice of Stalinism. In 1956, the Hungarian revolution offered the opportunity to escape. Entering Britain as a graduate engineer, she started a family and built a career as a researcher, educator and consultant. She was the third woman to become a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Her memoir is thoroughly researched and written with compassion and optimism, without self-pity. The tone is light and there is plenty of irony and even humour.  The narrative is underscored by the historian Dr László Csősz and illustrated by maps, documents, archival images and family photographs.  This book goes beyond the recollections of a survivor – it is an appeal to all of us to fight against prejudice and for human rights.

Source: http://agneskaposi.com/ 

About the Facilitators


Clara M. Chu
, Director and Distinguished Professor, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign  | 
Dr. Clara M. Chu, director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, publishes, presents and consults worldwide in English and Spanish on library and information science (LIS) education, diversity, equity and inclusion, strategic planning, promotion of libraries, and emerging technologies and trends among other topics. She is Coeditor-in-Chief of Library Trends, and Co-General Editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science Online. An active association leader, Dr. Chu Co-Chair of the IFLA Building Strong LIS Education Working Group, and a past president of the Association for Information Science and Technology and the Association for Library and Information Science Education. 

 


Ajit K. Pyati
, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario  | 
Dr. Ajit Pyati is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, Canada).  A first-generation Indian-American and a native of California, he moved to Canada in 2007 after receiving his Ph.D. in Information Studies from UCLA.  He holds a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), also from UCLA, and a BA from UC Berkeley.  Dr. Pyati’s research interests are increasingly focused on the intersections between contemplative studies, information studies, and equitable social change.  In addition to his academic interests, he is a certified yoga and meditation teacher.

Engineering Change and the Power of Information: Otherness, Exclusion, Propaganda, Dislocation

The aim of Engineering Change with Dr. Agnes Kaposi is to understand the Other and mobilize our libraries to provide more effective and equitable services and programs to underserved communities. Engineering Change is organized in two parts: the Lecture (setting the context) and two stand-alone 1.5-hour Workshops to facilitate library staff to take action.

THE LECTURE – November 8, 2021  <View the Recording here>
We all have a story to tell. Our stories are influenced by our family’s history and how they tell it, our homeland, the political forces around us from our birth, and our emotional life, innate intelligence, education, and resiliency.  And luck.

Dr. Agnes Kaposi is a Hungarian-born British engineer living in London. She has lived through some of the most cataclysmic events of 20th and 21st centuries — the Holocaust, the Communist regime in Hungary, becoming a UK citizen, breaking the glass ceiling in industry and academia in the 1960s, and working internationally as a researcher, consultant and educator. At 89, she helps adults and young people to learn from her story about the encroaching forces of nationalism, ethnic hatred, sexist prejudice and fear of the “other” in our midst. Libraries, at times forbidden to her and at times a respite, have played a strong role in her life.

Libraries as public spaces can play a leading role in building a compassionate, engaged civil society. But the challenges of our communities and our patrons today are many: economic and racial exclusion; the barrage of “fake news” and propaganda; and the brutality of dislocation and relocation.

Join us for a lecture with Dr. Kaposi, who brings nearly a century of perspective as she tells her life story and the role of information as a source of power/control over advancing otherness, exclusion, propaganda, dislocation, as well as the catalyst of transformation in engineering change. A conversation will follow, moderated by Dr. Valerie J. Matsumoto, to connect Dr. Kaposi’s experiences with those of other marginalized and dislocated groups worldwide, such as Japanese Americans, to identify similarities and differences across time and locations, as we aim to understand the Other and rethink some of the most pressing issues that libraries face in promoting equitable communities in our information-intensive and networked society. Valerie J. Matsumoto is a Professor in the Department of History and the Department of Asian American Studies, and the George and Sakaye Aratani Endowed Chair on the Japanese American Incarceration, Redress, and Community at UCLA. 


THE WORKSHOPS – February 15, 2022 and March 1, 2022

Two stand-alone 1.5-hour workshops to facilitate library staff to take action: 

Inaugural Workshop on Dislocation
Feb 15, 8:00-9:30 am CT session 1 <RECORDING>| March 15, 8:00-9:30 am CT open consultation | April 19, 8:00-9:30 am CT session 2

Join us for the Engineering Change in Libraries Workshop, a virtual space for library staff and stakeholders to engineer real change in their libraries and communities by providing more effective and equitable services and programs to underserved communities grounded on understanding the Other. The focus of action of the inaugural workshop is dislocation. Prior to engaging in an interactive process to develop an action plan, Dr. Agnes Kaposi will describe dislocation in general and subjective terms, through the lens of her experiences from the Holocaust, migration and other forms of dislocation. Participants are encouraged to read her memoir Yellow Star-Red Star, co-written with historian Dr Laszlo Csősz.

Workshop on Propaganda
March 1, 4:00-5:30 pm CT session 1 <RECORDING> | April 5, 4:00-5:30 pm CT open consultation | May 3, 4:00-5:30 pm CT session 2

Join us for the second Engineering Change in Libraries Workshop, with propaganda as the focus of action. Dr. Agnes Kaposi will describe propaganda in general and subjective terms, through the lens of her experiences and observations during and after the Holocaust, and other forms of contemporary propaganda. Then, participants will engage in an interactive process to develop a plan of action to address propaganda. Participants are encouraged to read her memoir Yellow Star-Red Star (i2i Publications, 2020).