Category Archives: Diversity

ACRL Board of Directors Condemns Racism and Violence in Charlottesville

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Board of Directors unequivocally decries and deplores all racism and racist ideologies and condemns the bigotry, hate, and violence demonstrated this past week by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville. We stand with our colleagues at the University of Virginia, recognizing that this was not a localized gathering and could happen on any college or university campus. We honor and remember those who were injured or lost their lives in Charlottesville this past weekend.

ACRL is unwavering in its long-standing commitment to free exchange of different viewpoints, but what happened in Charlottesville was not that; instead, it was terrorism masquerading as free expression. ACRL will continue to advocate for and demand diversity, inclusion, equity, and access in our college and university libraries.

We hope that all members of ACRL will join us in reaffirming our commitment to support students, faculty, staff, and the public we serve. We are committed to representing many backgrounds and advocating for social justice on campus and in our communities.

Mountain Plains Library Association Supports ACRL Diversity Alliance

MPLA logoThe Executive Board of the Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) has voted to formally support the goals of the ACRL Diversity Alliance. MPLA will encourage academic institutions in its twelve member states (Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming) to participate in establishing residency programs for professionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the library profession.

“Academic librarians play an important role in our MPLA membership, representing over 35% of our membership,” said MPLA President Mickey Coalwell. “This action by the MPLA Executive Board directly supports two of the Guiding Principles from MPLA’s new Strategic Plan- pursuing outreach opportunities in the 12-state MPLA region and realizing the potential or our multi-state collaboration through leadership development, professional growth opportunities for members, and engagement with the larger library community.”

MPLA will pay one-half of the institution’s $500 first-year participation fee, and will pay the cost of MPLA membership for the duration of the chosen candidate’s residency at the institution.

The Arizona State University Library recently became the first MPLA member institution to sign on for the MPLA/ACRL Diversity Alliance partnership.

More information about the ACRL Diversity Alliance, including a list of participating institutions, is available on the ACRL website. Learn more about MPLA on the association website.


ALA Seeks Proposals for 2017-2018 Diversity Research Grants Through April 15

ODLOS diversity grant logoThe ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services seeks proposals for the Diversity Research Grant program. Applications may address any diversity-related topic which addresses critical gaps in the knowledge of diversity, equity, and outreach issues within library and information science.

The application deadline has been extended to midnight central time on April 15, 2017.

The Diversity Research Grant consists of a one-time $2,500 award for original research. A jury of ALA members will evaluate proposals and select up to three awards. Grant recipients will be announced ahead of the 2017 ALA Annual Conference. Researchers are invited to present interim findings at the News You Can Use Diversity Research Grant Update held each ALA Midwinter Meeting and are asked to publish findings in a publication of their choosing within one year of completing their project.

Proposals are currently being accepted for one year research projects that will be undertaken July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Grants should not be sought for work leading toward the completion of a degree, thesis or dissertation. A complete proposal must include the following: a cover letter, a one-page vita for each of the researchers involved (including ALA membership number, the Principle Investigator should hold ALA membership), a concise abstract of the project and a description of the project detailing the justification and needs for the research project, research objectives, expected outcomes and benefits, and a budget plan and timeline on the provided template.

For a complete list of criteria and proposal instructions, please visit the ALA website.

For more information or to inquire about possible research topics, please email or call (800) 545-2433 ext. 5048.

ACRL Diversity Alliance Launches

diversity alliance-logoACRL is pleased to announce the launch of the ACRL Diversity Alliance. Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., the ACRL Diversity Alliance program unites academic libraries who share a commitment to increase the hiring pipeline of qualified, talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

By thinking bigger and broader, across all academic libraries, the alliance will introduce and welcome to the job market underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with work experiences that advance academic/research libraries. The commitment of each library leader to create one or more resident positions will increase the numbers of opportunities for professionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to gain the knowledge, skills, and competencies to thrive in an academic context.

“Diversity is a core organizational value in ACRL’s Plan for Excellence,” said ACRL President Irene M.H. Herold of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. “This initiative aligns with the new goal area of New Roles and Changing Landscapes and the goal area of Value of Academic Libraries objective to support libraries in advancing issues of equity, access, diversity, and inclusion. With the launch of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, we put further work into action to advance our goals.”

Participation in the ACRL Diversity Alliance requires a deep commitment on the part of library leaders to open doors, share their networks, and connect people at conferences, to facilitate deeper understanding of the profession and prepare them for participating in wider higher education community and for success in scholarship and professional service and leadership. In addition to the network of library leaders, residents will have access to a cohort/network that allows for sharing of ideas, resources, and best practices.

“This Alliance creates a national effort to measurably impact the diversity of all academic and college library organizations,” added Jon Cawthorne, chair of the ACRL Diversity Alliance Task Force and dean of libraries at West Virginia University. “I am grateful to the ACRL Board, my colleagues, and library leaders across the country for their commitment, involvement, and support for the Alliance. Now the work begins!”

The ACRL Diversity Alliance grew out of an initiative led by founding members American University, the University of Iowa, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.

Complete details on the ACRL Diversity Alliance, including information on how libraries may join the alliance, are available on the ACRL website.

Mentors Needed for Spectrum Scholars

Are you interested in directly contributing to the development of the next generation of academic librarians and ensuring a diverse workforce? Then consider mentoring an ALA Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program! The program links participating library school students and new librarians who are of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander descent, with established academic librarians who provide mentoring and professional guidance.

What’s Involved?
As a mentor, you will serve as a role model and provide career guidance, as well as help mentees find opportunities for involvement and leadership in the profession. You must be an academic librarian, have multiple years of professional experience (a minimum of ten years preferred), and be an active member of ACRL. The mentor program requires a commitment of at least one year and up to maximum of three years.

You will receive Web-based training from ACRL to assist you in building a successful mentoring relationship. Mentor responsibilities include:

  • Contacting the Spectrum Scholar on a regular basis (monthly is ideal).
  • Spending time with the Spectrum Scholar at library conferences when you are both are in attendance.
  • Completing two brief assessment surveys during the first year of your mentorship.

How Do You Apply?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor for a Spectrum Scholar through the ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor program, just complete the application.

What Happens Next?
The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee matches new pairs of mentors and Spectrum Scholars throughout the year, with most of the matches made in the spring. If we are unable to match you with a Scholar immediately, your application will be kept on file and you’ll be contacted periodically to confirm your ongoing interest in participating.

While applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, the committee will be matching a new cohort of mentors and mentees beginning in April, so please apply today to be an ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor. The profession benefits when you share your experience!

If you have questions about the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program, please contact Committee Chair Ebony Magnus at or ACRL staff member David Connolly at

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