depth look at the operations at Purdue as well as the professional requirements
of working for an institution where librarians maintain faculty status. Similar
events have been hosted by the Harvard College Library in 2005 and 2008, the
latter visit in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Libraries.
ARL received another IMLS grant in support of the IRDW in 2006, this time
with the emphasis on recruiting MLIS students with academic backgrounds in
natural and applied sciences, computer information systems, or information
technology. In 2006–07, ARL recruited only seven program participants into the
IRDW so a decision was made to utilize ARL funds to expand the class of
Diversity Scholars into a full cohort of 25 participants. Similar measures were
employed in 2007 and 2008 due to limited numbers of applicants with
appropriate academic backgrounds. With approval from IMLS, a modification
to the program was made in 2009 allowing ARL to accept students into the
program with academic backgrounds in the humanities, arts, and other
disciplines with the stipulation that these students complete approved
coursework in the targeted areas. The final class of Diversity Scholars, funded
by the 2006 IMLS grant, was recruited in 2009.
The total number of students supported since the program’s inception in
2000 is 126. To date ARL Diversity Scholars have graduated from a total of 34
ALA–accredited MLIS programs and have worked in almost 30 ARL libraries.
A study conducted in 2009 of all past program participants indicates that over
37% of all IRDW alumni are currently employed in ARL libraries, while 61%
remain employed in academic librarianship. With minority representation
among professional staff in US ARL academic libraries at 14% as of 2009,1
compared to 11% in 20002 when the IRDW was founded, it is clear that this
program is making a significant impact on the research library workforce.
A new IMLS grant awarded in June of 2010 will ensure that this important
minority recruitment program will continue. In the next three years, the IRDW
will recruit 30 MLIS students from traditionally underrepresented minority
groups into the program. In this iteration of the program, the focus of recruitment
will be on undergraduate students with academic backgrounds in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. ARL hopes that this
recruitment focus will not only continue improving upon representation of ethnic
and racial minorities in ARL libraries, but also will prove an appropriate response
to projected needs in the research library workforce in the decades to come.
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Celebrating 10 Years of ARL’s Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce
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C O N T I N U E D
)
JUNE 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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