Advocacy

Created by Christina Garnett, Senior Marketing Manager, Offline Community and Advocacy at HubSpot
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What everyone's up to

Student representation
Voted in as Class Rep BEng Software Engineering 3H1
Awarded for union stewardship service
Awarded the United Academics Strong Voice Award with Ann Shaffer and Elizabeth Petersen (UO Libraries) by United Academics of the University of Oregon. AAUP/AFT Local 3209, AFL-CIO

Nomination Letter
"
We, the undersigned, are nominating our colleagues Elizabeth Peterson, Kate Thornhill, and Ann Shaffer for the United Academics Strong Voice Award. While many union members showed extraordinary leadership and advocacy this past year, we believe that our librarian colleagues responded to this crisis with fierce resilience and sustained support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Like many career faculty across campus during the 2020 spring and summer terms, 15 librarians were at risk of being demoted to 0.1 FTE due to the administration’s perceived budget shortfalls. Additionally, five librarians who were up for promotion were put in the difficult position of proceeding with that process with the risk of demotion or abandoning their promotion at that time to maintain 1.0 FTE for another year. Since librarians are 12-month career faculty, this immediate reduction to 0.1 FTE would have hit us harder financially and it would have added to the workload of other librarians at an already difficult time. 

Lacking strong and vocal support from within UO Libraries’ administration, Elizabeth, Ann, and Kate convened the faculty librarians to self-organize and mobilize calls for advocacy and support. They created the UO Librarians United website to gather testimonials from students, faculty, staff, and non-campus stakeholders, and they compiled metrics and stories that demonstrate the impact that librarians have for the UO community. Their representation highlighted the unique plight of the FTE reduction for librarian career faculty. 

Their advocacy not only made an impact at UO Libraries, but it also demonstrated the collective power that we have through our union to stand against the unfair decision of the University’s administration. Their work caught the attention of Library Journal and amplified the crisis beyond Eugene to further the union’s pressure on UO administration. 

During the difficult times that led up to the MOU for continued employment and throughout the pandemic, they have been examples of fairness and transparency. They continue to be strong advocates and connections between librarian faculty and United Academics, often working overtime to have one-on-one meetings with librarians to gather feedback for the union. As a group, we convene monthly to review bargaining updates, discuss issues and concerns, and outline better methods for shared governance within UO Libraries. 

Their actions in collaboration with the union have been more than award worthy. Elizabeth, Kate, and Ann were much-needed leaders during a time when many of us were worried about our futures. We hope that they will be seriously considered for the Strong Voice Award. Thank you for your consideration." (Source)


Accepted book chapter
Advocated for unions
Accepted book chapter, "Union Stewardship: A Space for Mid-Career Librarian Leadership" by Kate Thornhill, Elizabeth Peterson, and Ann Shaffer. Thriving as a Mid-Career Librarian: Identity, Advocacy, and Pathways, edited by Brandon West and Elizabeth Galoozis, American College and Research Libraries.