SPEC Kit 319: Diversity Plans and Programs · 29
12. Has your library encountered any perceived barriers to increasing the pool of ethnically/culturally
diverse candidates? N=39
Yes 17 44%
No 22 56%
If yes, please briefly describe the barrier and any success the library has had in overcoming it.
As a profession, we are not diverse across a number of measures. We are working with the library school on our
campus to recruit diverse LIS students to the school and to academic libraries through a competitive two-year associates
program for students working in the library.
Geographic location is a particular issue. Being located in central Pennsylvania away from major metropolitan centers
sometimes makes it difﬁcult to attract a diverse candidate pool.
Geographical barrier - our city is sometimes perceived as an environment in which ethnically/culturally diverse
candidates may not want to live. We try to counter that perception by offering tours of the area, contacts with campus
faculty and staff who are ethnically/culturally diverse, and allowing for return visits to the area.
Hiring freezes. Geography - not urban. Predominantly white institution. Lack of exit interview data.
Just a limit in the number of diverse candidates interested in academic librarianship.
Louisville, KY may not have a reputation for diversity that would attract a diverse pool of applicants for open positions.
Having the National Diversity in Libraries Conference here in 2008 helped to change that perception.
Many candidates who apply do not meet the minimum qualiﬁcations, especially around having an MLS or one that is
accredited by ALA.
Most applicants opt not to report ethnicity data. To date, we’ve not overcome that issue.
Not hiring much right now; reduced beneﬁts for managerial & professional staff starting in July 2010. Current economic
environment limits funding for fee-based outreach, advertising, or travel, sponsoring paid interns or fellows, etc.
Our larger community is not very diverse at all. We are currently seeking input from minority professionals about ways to
overcome this barrier.
Reluctance to consider living and working in a small city. Bringing participants in ARL Initiatives to Recruit a Diverse
Workforce to visit library has resulted in applications from participants.
Staff resistance to thinking of importance of diversity within pools.
The cost of living in this region can be quite a barrier across the board. This remains difﬁcult to overcome.
The pool of professional librarians for certain positions, Asian language specialists, is limited.
Unfortunately, the total percentage of diverse graduates from LIS programs has not increased.