There were 1,140 minority professional staff reported in 99 U.S. ARL university libraries,
including law and medical.2 Note that the data for minority professionals comes only from the
U.S. ARL university libraries following the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) definitions; Canadian law prohibits the identification of Canadians by ethnic category.
Currently, 13.1% of the professional staff in U.S. ARL university libraries (including law
and medical) belongs to one of the four non-Caucasian categories for which ARL keeps records.
The number of minorities in managerial or administrative positions in the largest U.S. academic
libraries is far lower: 5.1% are directors (5 out of 98), 6.9% are associate or assistant directors
(26 out of 378), and 10% are branch librarians (46 out of 462). Graph 1, below, depicts the
overall racial/ethnic distribution of professional staff in U.S. ARL university libraries:
Caucasian/Other 86.9%, Asian/Pacific Islander 5.9%, Black 4.6%, Hispanic 2.4%, and American
Indian/Alaskan Native 0.3%. According to a 1998 survey by Mary Jo Lynch, data from the
American Library Association (ALA) show that the sample of academic libraries surveyed by
ALA has a higher representation of Blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American
Indian/Alaskan Native than ARL libraries.3
Ethnicity/Race of Professional Staff in
U.S. ARL University Libraries, 2005-06
American Indian or
Asian or Pacific Islander
Some U.S. institutions offer their librarians the option of not reporting race and ethnicity; others forbid the tracking of racial and
ethnic classification altogether. See Footnotes.
Mary Jo Lynch, “Librarians’ Salaries: Smaller Increases This Year,” American Libraries 29.10 (1998): 66-70. Also available at