participants benefit. Instead, they serve as one indicator of organizational
effectiveness.
Well-established residencies represent dynamic organizations that value
diversity and professional development for all positions. They visibly
communicate the nature and priorities of the library’s organizational culture to
prospective employees and to the research library community at large. The
importance of these organizational benefits is renewed with each residency
recruitment cycle.
1
A library residency is a post–master’s degree work-experience program that provides entry-level
employment and professional development for early-career librarians. Residencies are short-term
professional librarian positions that typically last one to three years. In 1996 the Association for
Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) distinguished post-master’s residency programs
from pre-professional internships and mid-career fellowship programs in their “Guidelines for
Practices and Principles in the Design, Operation, and Evaluation of Post-Master’s Residency
Programs,” published in Library Personnel News 10 (May/June 1996): 1–3.
2
The University of Delaware Library celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Pauline A. Young Residency
Program on June 27, 2010 in Washington, DC, at the American Library Association Annual Conference
with colleagues from the national research library residency community. There are approximately two
dozen active residency programs today. More than 50 academic and research libraries have hosted
residency programs for early career librarians at one time or another. ARL has provided tremendous
support over the years for residents, residency program coordinators, and the development of new
residency programs. The forthcoming book, The New Graduate Experience: Post-MLS Residencies and
Early Career Librarianship, co-edited by Megan Zoe Perez and Cindy A. Gruwell, to be published by
Libraries Unlimited in January 2011 provides the most current accounts of residency experiences, as
well as discussion on managing diversity and early-career development. Additional information
about residency programs, including resident profiles, links to current residency programs, news,
resources, and collaborative initiatives is available on the Association of College and Research
Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group website http://acrl.ala.org/residency/. For more
information about the University of Delaware’s residency program, see “Library Celebrates 25th
Anniversary of Pauline A. Young Residency Program,” UDaily, July 6, 2010,
http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2011/jul/residency070610.html.
© 2010 Julie Brewer
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-
Share Alike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/.
To cite this article: Julie Brewer. “Understanding the Organizational Value of
Post–Master’s Degree Residency Programs.” Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly
Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 272 (October 2010): 23–27.
http://publications.arl.org/rli272/.
RLI 272
27
Understanding the Organizational Value of Post–Master’s Degree Residency Programs
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OCTOBER 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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