focused primarily on workplace climate, and developing programs that
promoted inclusion and fostered an awareness of and respect for human
differences in the research library environment.
The demand for the OMS Diversity programs was much higher than
anticipated. In 1993 the Diversity position became full-time, and the ARL
Board returned in earnest to its discussions about how best to address the
problem of low minority representation among the workforce in ARL libraries.
These discussions were further guided by input from an outside consultant,
Gloria DeSole, who served as Special Assistant to the President for Affirmative
Action at SUNY, Albany. During the October 1993 ARL Business Meeting, the
members unanimously approved the
establishment of a dues-supported Minority
Recruitment and Retention capability. On the
advisement of a special working group and Ms.
DeSole, the ARL Board also endorsed a five-year
plan that mandated the creation of a comprehensive minority recruitment plan
and allowed for Diversity Consultant Kriza Jennings to be promoted to
Program Officer for Diversity and Minority Recruitment. The enabling
capability was configured in such a way that Jennings devoted 50% of her time
to minority recruitment and retention projects and 50% to the OMS Diversity
Programs aimed at improving workplace climate. Initially these workshops
were offered to ARL member institutions, other interested academic libraries,
and American Library Association (ALA)–accredited library schools.
By September of 1994, Jennings had visited 28 ARL libraries offering
consultation and workshops. A grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas
Foundation was awarded to ARL in 1995 in support of programmatic
activities in the recruitment arena and helped to augment the ARL dues-
supported programs.
In 1996, ARL hired a new Program Officer for Diversity, DeEtta Jones, who
would continue to build on her predecessor’s successes, but who would also
facilitate a new dialogue about how best to address the minority recruitment
issue. A defining moment came in 1998 when Sheila Creth, then the University
Librarian at the University of Iowa, challenged her colleagues to be more
aggressive about addressing the problem of minority recruitment in ARL
libraries. Her voice echoed the sentiments of other key players in this
discussion, including Jim Williams, Dean of Libraries at University of
RLI 270
2
Celebrating 10 Years of ARL’s Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce
(
C O N T I N U E D
)
JUNE 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
By 2000, 52 ARL member libraries had committed
a total of over $500,000 to support the effort.
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