Recruiting a Diverse Library Workforce

I thought I’d pass this along:

Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce Call for Applications
Deadline June 1, 2011

Washington DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW), a program designed to recruit master of library and information science (MLIS) students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic and racial minority groups into careers in research libraries. The IRDW includes a stipend up to $10,000 over two years, leadership and career development training, financial support for skills development, and a formal mentorship program.

The IRDW is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and ARL member libraries. This program reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library community that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis of global perspectives in the academy.

Program Goal and Objectives

  • Attracting MLIS students from underrepresented groups to careers in research libraries, especially students with educational backgrounds (preferably a baccalaureate degree) in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) disciplines†
  • Strengthening participants’ leadership and job searching skills via a Leadership Symposium held during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting
  • Developing a network of mentors who will guide and nurture the career development of the participants

† Candidates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Those without academic training in STEM disciplines will be required to complete coursework that will better prepare the candidate to work in one of the designated areas.


Successful applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • Member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group (Note: Racial and ethnic identification is based on the categories outlined by the US Census and include: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino.)
  • Acceptance into an ALA-accredited MLIS program
  • Interest in pursuing a career in a research library

All applicants are required to submit the following materials by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, 2011:

  • Applicant summary sheet
  • Résumé
  • A 400-word (maximum) essay describing what attracts you to a career in a research library
  • Two letters of reference
  • Official undergraduate and graduate school transcripts including your last academic semester completed
  • Copy of an official letter of acceptance from an ALA-accredited library/information school

The application form is online at For more information about the program, see the IRDW Web site

For more information, contact:

Mark A. Puente

Association of Research Libraries