Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ARL Diversity Initiatives Awarded IMLS Grant to Create Minority Fellowship Program

For immediate release:
June 18, 2008

For more information, contact:
Jerome Offord Jr.
Association of Research Libraries

ARL Diversity Initiatives Awarded IMLS Grant to Create Minority Fellowship Program

Washington DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Diversity Initiatives have been awarded a $728,821 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st-Century Librarian Program to create the ARL Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). The MFP will partner with ARL libraries to provide 45 master’s of library science (MLS) students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with fellowships in research libraries. The program will also provide these ARL Minority Fellows with librarian mentors, opportunities for leadership development, and career placement assistance. Using a fellowship-cohort model, this program seeks to address recruitment and retention of minority librarians by providing them with a close network of peers, while at the same time providing these outstanding students with practical learning experiences to complement their library school coursework.

The ARL Minority Fellowship Program has four main components:

  • 12-Week Fellowship Experience: Each fellow will have a unique opportunity to work in a research library to gain both educational and professional experience while earning an MLS. Fellows will be assembled in groups of two or three to create a fellowship cohort at each host institution.
  • Mentoring Relationship: A professional librarian will mentor each fellow during the fellowship. The mentoring relationship will be different from the supervisory relationship and will provide the fellows with professional guidance and resource sharing.
  • Leadership Development: The fellows will participate in the ARL Leadership Institute, hosted in January in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting. During the institute, the fellows will have an opportunity to explore macro-level issues facing research libraries and discuss transitioning into a research library upon graduation. The fellows will have an opportunity to connect with other ARL fellows, library leaders, and other MLS students who attend the annual Leadership Institute.
  • Career Placement: ARL staff will work with each fellow to identify an appropriate and meaningful position in a research library upon completing their MLS.

Eligible applicants for the fellowship must:

  • be accepted in an ALA-accredited library school program;
  • be a member of a racial/ethnic minority group as described by the US Census Bureau; and
  • have completed a minimum of 12 graduate-level credits in library and information science.

Selection and Institutional Match

The Minority Fellowship Program will have a unique process for selecting and matching fellows. Each host institution has committed to have one designated staff member serve on the Coordinating Committee. The committee will read the entire application pool; select acceptable fellows; and then enter into dialogue about experience, professional fit (fellows’ goals and desired experience), and creating a diverse group of students. The committee will then work together to create the best placement for each fellow.

The fellowship host institutions are:

  • University at Albany, State University of New York
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Kentucky
  • National Library of Medicine
  • North Carolina State University


Application forms will be available in spring 2009.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the Web at

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Coming soon "A Day in the Life" personal narriatives

One of the most frequent questions I get once people find out I am a librarian is "what do you do all day?". So to answer that question, we will be asking a variety of different REFORMA Librarians from across the United States to give us an idea of what they do on a daily basis in the form of a guest blog post. Ever wondered what someone who works as an academic librarian does all day? What different Librarians working in a fellowship do? These posts will be your opportunity to discover what we do all day. I can guarantee no one "spends all day reading!"