RLI 270 1 Celebrating 10 Years of ARL’s Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce Mark A. Puente, Director of Diversity Programs, ARL IInitiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW). For the past 10 years,n August of 2010, ARL celebrates an important milestone: the 10thanniversary of its long-standing minority recruitment program, the the IRDW has provided financial support to master of library and information science (MLIS) students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. Since 2003, with funding from member libraries and two grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the program has evolved to include a formal mentoring relationship, leadership develop- ment, career placement assistance, plus many other benefits. The program aims to encourage these students to pursue careers in major research libraries by providing them with an in-depth view of the operations of ARL libraries and the implications for retention and promotion in those workplace environments. Although it is difficult to determine an exact starting date for the IRDW, conversations leading up to its creation date back at least 20 years. At the spring 1990 ARL Membership Meeting in New Orleans, one of the programs addressed the need to develop a strategy to recruit more minorities into the research library workforce. ARL began to explore the concept of cultural diversity in the workplace under the leadership of the Association’s Office of Management Services (OMS, later renamed the Office of Leadership and Management Services). Three ARL OMS SPEC Kit surveys distributed in 1990 sought to scan the environment and collect data on minority recruitment and retention programs, affirmative action policies and practices, and cultural diversity programming. The year 1990 was also pivotal in that ARL received the first of two grants from the H.W. Wilson Foundation, enabling the Association to launch a project entitled Meeting the Challenges of a Culturally Diverse Work Environment. This seed funding from the Wilson Foundation allowed ARL to hire its first OMS Diversity Consultant on a part-time basis. Kriza Jennings first served in this capacity, offering presentations, seminars, and consulting services JUNE 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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