Category Archives: Diversity

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 ebonymagnus@gmail.com or ACRL staff member David Connolly at dconnolly@ala.org.

Achievement in Library Diversity Research Nominations

Each year the Diversity Research Grant Advisory Committee of ALA’s Office of Diversity seeks to recognize an individual for significant contributions to diversity research and outreach efforts in Library and Information Science by honoring them with an Achievement in Library Diversity Research designation. Achievement is defined as a body of work or a groundbreaking piece whose dissemination advances our understanding of or sparks new research in the areas of diversity. Entries are not limited to peer reviewed, scholarly publication. Open access and other forms of published dissemination are welcome. Nominations are accepted year-round and an honoree will be selected from the pool of nominees received by March 15, 2016, with the award presented at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Self-nominations are welcome. Recipients receive complimentary conference registration, a plaque, and an opportunity to make remarks during the presentation of the award.

More information and the short form are available on the ALA website. Please direct any questions to diversity@ala.org.

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.

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