Category Archives: Diversity

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.

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 Harriett Green at green19@illinois.edu or ACRL staff member David Connolly at dconnolly@ala.org.

ACRL Funds 2013 Spectrum Scholar Jessica Bastian

As part of our commitment to furthering diversity in librarianship, ACRL is supporting Jessica Bastian as its 2013-14 Spectrum Scholar. Bastian attends the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prior to entering library school, Bastian worked as access services coordinator at the Bradley University Cullom-Davis Library and currently serves as a faculty recruiter for diversity, international and adult education at Illinois Central College. She additionally earned a Master’s degree in Politics and Government from Illinois State University in 2010 with a concentrated interest in Global Politics and Culture. Bastian’s interest in the library profession began in the summer of 2005, while doing an internship at the National Archives as a part of the Western Illinois University Learning to Lead Internship Program. She plans pursue a career in academic librarianship with a focus on engaging communities of diverse users and improving civic and information literacy instruction within the traditional university system.

“I am passionate about the capacity of information to change lives,” Bastian said. “In academic libraries, I see the potential of reaching first generation students and providing research and information literacy instruction to improve their educational journey. I often reflect on my own undergraduate experience and wished that I would have understood more about the higher education process and the potential of all the resources available to me.”

Bastian’s academic and professional interests include technology, community informatics, open access, digital and information literacy instruction, service learning, collection development geared toward diverse communities and the potential of academic and community library partnerships.

“I see the library as an organization uniquely situated to meet the information needs of diverse users and also as a means to encourage intellectual curiosity and inspire our next generation of learners and leaders,” she added.

Since 1999, ACRL has provided more than $80,000 to the Spectrum Scholar Program. In addition, ACRL assists scholars through mentoring and conference assistance. The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Mentor Committee supports Spectrum Scholars with an interest in academic libraries by pairing them with a trained mentor from an academic library. The committee has paired more than 80 Spectrum Scholars with mentors since 2003 and is working to pair interested current scholars and scholars from the incoming Spectrum class. ACRL also provides five scholarship awards that support travel for the attendance of Spectrum Scholars at ACRL Conferences.

“ACRL has been committed to ensuring diversity in the profession for many years,” ACRL President Trevor A. Dawes of Washington University in St. Louis noted. “Participating in the Spectrum Scholarship program enables us to extend opportunities to academically deserving students such as Jessica Bastian so that she may continue her studies in library and information science. ACRL continues to be a proud sponsor and supporter of this very important initiative.”

Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national effort to increase diversity in the profession by recruiting and providing scholarships that allow students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds to become librarians. Spectrum Scholars improve service at the local level because they reflect the communities served by libraries in today’s changing world. Spectrum has provided more than 800 scholarships to qualified applicants enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies or an AASL-recognized School Library program. To learn more about the Spectrum Scholarship Program, visit the program website.

To get involved or to make a donation to the Spectrum Scholarship Program, contact ALA Office for Diversity and Spectrum Assistant Director Gwendolyn Prellwitz at gprellwitz@ala.org.

Academic Librarians of Color Research Survey

Note: Please consider participating in the survey described below for a chapter in a forthcoming ACRL book if appropriate.

Are you a librarian of color? Do you work in an academic library in the United States? If so, please add your voice by filling out a questionnaire for a study on the self-perceptions of professional and racial identity of academic librarians of color.

Despite an abundance of existing literature on diversity in libraries, as well as recruitment and retention initiatives of underrepresented populations in libraries, there has been little research on how academic librarians of color perceive themselves as professionals and as people of color. This research will serve as the basis for a book chapter tentatively titled “Librarians of Color: Perceptions of Professional and Racial Identity in Academic Libraries” in the forthcoming ACRL publication Beyond the Bun: Librarian Valuing through Perception and Presentation (working title).

For this research, we want to define the term “person of color” beyond the literal color of one’s skin. We are defining the term as individuals who reside in the United States who belong to minoritized racial and ethnic groups, including but not limited to: African American or African, Arab, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American and Alaskan Native, and Multiracial.

We are seeking participants who are librarians working in an academic library setting in the United States, over the age of 18 years, who identify as persons of color.

Questionnaires will be collected online through the survey tool Qualtrics. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed in the online research environment. To protect the confidentiality of survey respondents the collection of IP addresses will be disabled in the survey results. Participation is voluntary and participants are free to withdraw at any time, or may choose to only answer specific questions. The questionnaire consists of several open-ended questions and will take about 20-30 minutes to complete.

Click here to access the questionnaire: https://uic.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1NaXWBAZWRRtEzP.

Thank you for your participation in this study.

Isabel Gonzalez-Smith
Academic Resident Librarian
University of Illinois, Chicago
312-413-3273 | igonza9@uic.edu

Azusa Tanaka
Japanese Studies Librarian
University of Washington
206-543-4490 | azusat@uw.edu

Juleah Swanson
Acquisitions Librarian
Ohio State University
614-247-7461 | swanson.234@osu.edu

Mentors Needed for Spectrum Scholars

Are you interested in developing 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 will provide mentoring and coaching support.

 What’s Involved?
Mentors will serve as role models in academic librarianship and provide career guidance, as well as help mentees find opportunities for involvement and leadership in the profession. They must be academic librarians, have professional experience (a minimum of ten years preferred), and be active in ACRL. Mentors must make a commitment for a minimum of one year and up to maximum of three years.

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

  • Contacting the mentee monthly or on a regular basis.
  • Spending time with the Spectrum Scholar at library conferences where both are in attendance.
  • Submitting brief status reports and an annual report (one page form).

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, please complete the application before May 17, 2013.

What Happens Next?
The ACRL Dr. E.J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee expects to be matching new pairs of mentors and Spectrum Scholars by early June, and both parties will be informed of the match soon thereafter. If we are unable to match you with a Scholar immediately, you will be notified and your paperwork will be kept on file.

Please apply today to be an ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor! The profession needs you.

If you have additional questions about the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program please contact Committee Chair Jade Alburo at jalburo@library.ucla.edu or ACRL staff member David Connolly at dconnolly@ala.org.

New Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries

The ACRL Board of Directors has approved new “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries.” Developed by the ACRL Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee, the standards emphasize the need and obligation for academic and research libraries to serve, and advocate for, racial and ethnically diverse constituencies.

“Higher education institutions thrive when the campus community is racially and ethnically diverse,” said ACRL President Steven J. Bell of Temple University. “These new standards will enable academic librarians to excel in helping their college or university to achieve excellence in serving multicultural constituencies. ”

As visionary leaders open to change, new ideas and global perspectives, ACRL is committed to diversity of people and ideas. The association understands that if libraries are to continue being indispensable organizations in their campus communities, they must reflect the communities they serve and provide quality services to their increasingly diverse constituencies. The new standards provide a framework to support libraries in engaging the complexities of providing services to diverse populations, and recruiting and maintaining a diverse library workforce.

“The ACRL Diversity Standards speak to the importance of recognizing and meeting the needs of our varied academic and research communities, including library professionals and those we serve,” added ACRL Diversity Committee Chair Rayette Starling of Eastern Washington University. “The standards are a tool to help academic and research libraries achieve cultural competencies and are designed to be a living document which can adapt to different cultural climates – including gender diversity. It is our hope that these standards will give libraries a place to start the conversation about inclusion and best practice.”

The full “Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries” are freely available on the ACRL website and in the October 2012 issue of C&RL News.

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