44 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 categories have participated in ARL diversity recruitment programs, certainly a large percentage has over the course of two decades. These percentages are favorable when compared against national demographics in the profession. Although not updated since 2012, the American Library Association (ALA) Diversity Counts report indicated representation of credentialed librarians from minoritized populations at 11.1% of the total workforce of academic, public, and school librarians in the US.3 For the purpose of contrast, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates for “librarians” across four demographic groups indicate that approximately 9.2% of the credentialed librarian workforce in 2019 was from two racial/ethnic categories: Black or African American and Asian.4 Hispanic or Latino–identifying individuals make up approximately 9.8% of the librarian workforce, but may identify as other races listed in the statistics. Individuals identifying as White make up approximately 87.8% of the librarian workforce. No breakdown is given on the remainder of the workforce groups, which includes but is not limited to Native American and Alaska Native. What analysis of the ALA Diversity Counts and other reports indicates is that, in spite of concerted efforts from major library associations as well as library and information science programs over the last several decades, based on the above data, little progress has been made with respect to representation of racial and ethnic categories that, historically, have been a underrepresented within the profession. There has been a great deal of literature published about enduring challenges to diversifying the workplace and how many interventions do little more than sustain and maintain homogeneity in the workforce, particularly in managerial ranks. In a notable article in the Harvard Business Review from 2016, two sociology professors point to evidence that, in the business sector, diversity initiatives often have the opposite effect of what is intended.5 Much of the literature regarding diversity in higher education laments the lack of progress in diversifying.
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