We regret to inform you that ARLIS/NA will not be holding its 48th Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO because of the serious health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Thursday, April 23 • 1:30pm - 2:50pm
Family-Un/Friendly: Reimagining Our Institutions’ Leave Policies

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Despite the tremendous influence that caregiving exerts on their professional and personal experiences, GLAM professionals often receive vague answers or contradictory information when they inquire about formal, written policies concerning family-friendly benefits, such as parental leave, medical or caregiver leave, return-to-work guidelines, lactation room access, telework or remote work opportunities, and flex time. Another challenge in the GLAM field is that academic institutions often offer more varied and generous leave policies than museums, archives, and other arts institutions, which can cause confusion for employees who switch from one type of job to the other. Furthermore, leave policies are not always communicated or enforced consistently across an entire institution, which forces vulnerable employees to negotiate with their supervisor or Human Resources representative on their own. New hires, parents with recently born or adopted children, caregivers of adult children or parents, and pregnant or breastfeeding women are examples of employees who may seek out their employer’s leave policy only to find it is insufficient, outdated, or even nonexistent. In the absence of a robust, formal policy readily available to the entire organization, employees who require time off work to care for themselves or their families are often left without guidance or institutional support at a time when they need it the most.

The goal of this session is twofold. First, we plan to equip attendees with real examples of family-un/friendly leave policies from GLAM institutions so that they can learn more about their peers’ policies and be empowered to advocate for improved policies at their own institutions. Second, we aim to educate our colleagues in positions of power -- supervisors, directors, and administrators -- that most policies in GLAM institutions are insufficient and that formal, updated, competitive, and generous policies are necessary in order to successfully recruit and retain employees. Data from recent studies about family-friendly leaves in academic institutions will inform our conversation and will reiterate the need to enact more extensive and inclusive leave policies across GLAM professions.

We encourage you to bring your institution’s own leave policy so that we can review and reimagine it together, identify strengths and weaknesses, and equip you to advocate for yourself and your coworkers when you return to your home institution. Please ensure your institution’s leave policy is publicly available before you share it with the group.

avatar for Stephanie Fletcher

Stephanie Fletcher

E-Resources/Reference Librarian, Art Institute of Chicago

Thursday April 23, 2020 1:30pm - 2:50pm CDT
Chase Park Plaza: Lindell A/B 212 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108