RLI 286  3 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2015 Pipelines and Partnerships in Diversity at the National Library of Medicine Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Coordinator, National Library of Medicine Joyce E. B. Backus, Associate Director for Library Operations, National Library of Medicine T he US National Library of Medicine (NLM) uses partnerships with other library organizations, as well as building on its own expertise, to attract and retain a talented and diverse staff of librarians. The Division of Library Operations, within NLM, is home to 270 federal employees. In order to meet its mission of enabling biomedical research, supporting health care and public health, and promoting healthy behavior by acquiring, organizing, preserving, and providing access to the world’s scholarly biomedical literature, staff expertise is needed in traditional areas such as acquisitions, e-resource management, collection development, reference, document delivery, conservation, preservation, outreach, and in newer areas of digitization, digital preservation, web development, social media analysis and deployment, and systems. However, the scope of a national, federal library that produces over 295 databases and APIs, curates and manages medical terminologies, and regularly conducts research and analysis with its own and others’ data sets, requires staff expertise in usability testing, user experience (web), data analysis, terminology creation, customer service, and education and training scaling from small in-house projects to products and services for the public. This range of traditional to newer skills, of library services to library products, means NLM regularly seeks librarians of all kinds. NLM needs newer graduates who can bring a perspective unencumbered by a “the way it’s always been done” mentality, as well as experienced librarians who bring perspectives from other institutions, offering a “here’s how others do it and why not try it here?” approach. NLM’s range of products and services also demands finding staff who reflect the diversity of the United States public, whom the library serves librarians whose approach to work and library service offer new methods and ideas librarians whose path to the field may not match the path of the hiring managers or librarians who exist outside the extensive network of the library’s best recruiters: its own current and former staff. NLM has long supported the early careers of health sciences librarians through its own nationally recognized Associate Fellowship Program, which offers fellowships for recent library science graduates interested in careers in health sciences librarianship. The NLM Associate Fellowship Program is over 40 years old, and uses NLM institutional experience in curriculum development, mentorship, project sponsorship, and guidance in developing future leaders in librarianship. NLM could have developed its own diversity and inclusivity recruitment and development programs to encourage librarians and other talented personnel to apply for its jobs, serve on its public boards and committees, and actively engage with NLM in improving its products with constructive criticism
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