Author Archives: Peggy Cadigan

Extraordinary Libraries Create Extraordinary Communities

Verna Myers speaking at recent PLA Conference in Denver
Verna Myers speaking at recent PLA Conference in Denver

At the recent Public Library Conference in Denver an array of motivational speakers were on hand to share their stories.  One such speaker was the gifted Vernā Myers.

Vernā , who is well known as a champion of diversity, has helped break down barriers of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation through her organization, Vernā Myers Consulting Group.  Her presentation on gaining diverse perspectives and lessening inequities, through inclusion and through the creation of opportunities, was truly inspirational!

Here are some key takeaways from her session:

Why Be Extraordinary at Inclusion and Anti-Bias? What Matters to You?

  • Improved service & satisfaction
  • More diverse perspectives – greater innovation & creativity
  • Enhanced problem solving; Predictability
  • Ability to attract diverse talent & public from different backgrounds – role models, competencies and skills
  • Increased morale, performance, and contribution by employees
  • Longer tenure; less unwanted attrition
  • Improved reputation with and connection to different communities
  • Create opportunity; rectify the “tilt” — lessen the inequities

Be Extraordinary !

More about Vernā :

Vernā Myers is on a personal mission to disrupt the status quo and she knows how to: she’s lived it. Myers rose out of Baltimore’s working class to become a Harvard-trained lawyer, entrepreneur, author, and cultural innovator. Her dynamic, laugh-out-loud speeches inspire audiences to go further—to move beyond leveling the playing field to create a new field altogether—and empower people of all backgrounds to contribute at their highest levels.

Vernā asks hard questions because today’s interdependent companies, governments, and communities need to figure out how to solve seemingly intractable, systemic problems. With humility born from years of experience in life and in the field, Vernā’s stories spell out the steps needed to embrace difference and create fair and prosperous solutions that help reorganize our world.

Author of the best-selling books Moving Diversity Forward: How to Move From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing and What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People, Vernā has touched over 1 million people through her speeches, appearances, and transformative message of power and possibility. Her inspiring TED talk, “How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them,” offers three ways any person can become an active participant in countering bias in ourselves and in others to create a more just world.

For the last two decades, Vernā and her team of consultants have helped eradicate barriers of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation at elite international law firms, Wall Street powerhouses, and the 10,000 member Fire Department of New York, with the aim of establishing a new, more productive and just status quo.

Read more in the April 8, 2016 American Libraries Magazine article, “Big Ideas with Vernā Myers: Learning how to move diversity forward”.





Follow Peggy Cadigan on Twitter @pcadigan

The State Librarian visits Hunterdon County Library’s Director Mark Titus and staff on July 17, 2013

Mary Chute, State Librarian and Mark Titus, Library Director of Hunterdon County Library take a break during a tour of the facility on July 17. Peggy Cadigan, Deputy State Librarian for Innovation and Outreach was there to capture the moment. Mary met with staff and patrons while having a nice wander through each area of the library.

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