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Building a Knowledge Alliance


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Presentation delivered at the American Library Association 2014 annual conference in Las Vegas, NV

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Building a Knowledge Alliance

  1. 1. Rebranding Librarianship - Building a Knowledge Alliance Featuring: Deana Greenfield Robert Jones Steven D. Booth Holly Smith Isabel Gonzalez-Smith Hannah Lee
  2. 2. How We Began  Administered by the ALA Office for Diversity and currently funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)  35 early career librarians convened in San Diego in January 2011 to reflect on what drew them to the field and discussed recruitment strategies  Messaging tested at informal events and refined with feedback from new and prospective professionals Knowledge Alliance @ Seattle Midwinter 2013
  3. 3. Online Mentoring Platform Site goes live March 2012
  4. 4. Multiple Ways to Connect Find events and find LIS Professionals based on location and/or interests
  5. 5. Explore Potential Mentors Meet an Ally
  6. 6. Local Connections Online activities paired with accesible mentors A geographically distributed network of mentors help us recruit at events in each region.
  7. 7. Building the Alliance more places, more mentors,more connections! March 2012-2014 70 fairs! 10,000 participants 3,000 new mentee profiles created
  8. 8. About Me:  Public Library Statistics Cooperative (PLSC) State Data Coordinator – facilitate annual data collection from public libraries.  Youth Services Coordinator – Administer and Monitor School Grant program My daily work with public and school libraries is a constant reminder of the beneficial services and programs we offer. It’s the reason why I do recruitment…the impact of libraries is immeasurable! Knowledge Alliance Knowing why you do it, helps your recruiting. Recruiting reminds you of why you do it! Robert @ the Illinois State Library
  9. 9.  Represented the Knowledge Alliance at 4 events in IL, 1 in NY, 1 in NJ and have presented about the program at two conferences  Made friends with Career Services Offices at colleges and universities  Used the internet to identify events  Built relationships in the state of IL with faculty and students Northern Illinois UniversityPace UniversityRutgers University Knowledge Alliance Getting out there, one recruiter’s story
  10. 10.  Reaffirms career choice  Travel  Enjoy connecting with students  Reconnecting with colleagues and making new connections  Advocating for libraries  Supported by employer  Expanding opportunities for others Knowledge Alliance Why I do it! Chicago Essential Information Workshop
  11. 11. Putting the Knowledge into the alliance… Recruiters are:  Part of a growing, mutually supportive network of professionals  Early in their careers but experienced in career options  Friendly!  Interested in the unique skills and perspectives students bring  Constantly learning about the profession  Generous with their knowledge Recruiters are not:  Alone  Know-it-alls (but we thought about it)
  12. 12. Know Your Allies you’re not in this alone KNOWLEDGE+ALLIANCE [dot] org • 43 recruiters nationwide and growing • profiles include elevator bio, interests & reading list • learn about other mentors and what they can offer those entering the profession
  13. 13. Expand Your Knowledge familiarize yourself with options of interest to students Education ALA-accredited Programs | U.S. News Rankings Funding Spectrum Scholarship | ARL Diversity Initiatives Professional Orgs ALA | SAA | AAM | SLA | ARL AASLH | MLA | AALL | ARMA Career Services ALA Joblist | I Need a Library Job | Archives Gig
  14. 14. Extend the Knowledge Reinforce the tenants of the profession with every interaction I really enjoyed speaking with you and your colleagues and left excited about the possibility of a library/information science career. I've been exploring the ALA website and plan to look into accredited programs next. Mila, Howard University Career Exploration Fair Thank you so much for these resources!! I'm so glad I got the chance to meet you. Sarah, American Historical Association Career Fair I wanted to thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. I'm so inspired by you and your journey. You caught me at the right time while I decide on my next academic steps. I was up for hours last night looking at all the Library Studies programs listed on the ALA site. Shaina, Howard University Career Exploration Fair I cannot express how great it was to meet you at NCCWSL last Friday! I expected to go to the conference and learn new things about myself and new skills to implement but at this point in my college career I did not expect to learn about a career path I was never even cognizant of and actually become really interested in exploring new possibilities for graduate school and beyond. Talking to you has truly opened my eyes and expanded the horizon. April, NCCWSL Career Fair
  15. 15. Extend the Knowledge Reinforce the tenants of the profession with every interaction It was a pleasure to meet you, Steven! Thank you so much for sending the information -- those resources look like exactly what I've been looking for. Jessica, American Historical Association Career Fair I wanted to email you to thank you again for taking the time to read my resume, give me information on ALA internships and careers, and share some quality laughs with me(!). Katy, NCCWSL Career Fair Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about the cross overs with museum work and library archive, special collections, and digitization. I appreciated your helpful words, advice, and opening up my perspective to also look into registrar entry level jobs, in addition to my search in museums. Sarah, NCCWSL Career Fair Thank you for the list of suggested web sites... You were the very first person I talked to at the job fair, so thank you for setting the tone in a positive direction. Paulette, American Historical Association Career Fair
  16. 16. Being an Ally
  17. 17. Being an Ally connect the dots
  18. 18. Being an Ally find the sweet spot
  19. 19. Reap the benefits your support network grows when you support others Olivia Dorsey, 2014 Spectrum Scholar "I am so thankful to have been connected to Holly – her contagious spirit knows no bounds. Because of her excitement, I have realized my strengths and because of her encouragement, I have been further motivated to use my strengths to my full potential with the knowledge that anything is possible."
  20. 20. Strengthening Connections Five events, five cities, 20 volunteer organizers! May 2014
  21. 21. Essential Information Concept Intended outcomes for participants:  Committed network of mentors (graduate students and professionals)  Resume and essay writing resources and assistance  Tips for financing a graduate education  Tools for identifying and re-evaluating career paths in evolving industries
  22. 22. Essential Information Chicago’s Design Day One Personality style exercise Keynote speech by college library director, activist Careers panel - librarians from various institutions Networking with local professionals, reception Day Two FIELD TRIP to public library Graduate student panel - LIS student experiences Talk tables Real Colors Exercise Keynote: Use Your Voice Career Options Panel Networking: “Ask Me About..” More Networking! Venues: Richard J. Daley Library, Hull House Museum, and Skokie Public Library
  23. 23. Essential Information Spreading the word…  Word of mouth – volunteers tell everyone who’s ever asked about their profession, utilize social media and encourage their peers to do the same  Area library schools asked to contact students from orientation events, admitted students who never enrolled, and incoming students  Information shared at Knowledge Alliance booth during college and career fairs earlier in the Spring – come here to continue the conversation!  HR departments in public libraries, bulletin boards  Career centers in area colleges, universities and city colleges  AILA, APALA, BCALA, CALA, REFORMA, ARLIS, ARL help spread the word  Student groups at UIC  Student workers  Students in the library that day!
  24. 24. Essential Information Opportunities navigated, realities discussed… Veronica Cajigas has been interested in library school for a year. As a woman of color, she hoped to see more racial diversity in the profession, and this workshop was an eye-opening experience. “I knew I wanted to become a librarian, but after attending the event, hearing the speakers, and meeting with mentors, I’ve never been more determined to actually focus and accomplish that goal.” Jasmine Pawlicki “Diversity plays an important role in my consideration of a graduate program because I will be seeking mentorship to help me develop an LIS course of study that addresses my interests in Ojibwe Language revitalization, tribal libraries and archives, and curriculum development.”
  25. 25. Essential Information Rediscovering librarianship… Taina K. Evans, library information supervisor at BPL, said that the event allowed speakers and panelists to share their passion for their unique role. “It’s safe to say that everyone left with a new found drive to impact the library profession, with an understanding that it’s not what the library profession can give to you, but what invaluable service you can add to the entire community.”
  26. 26. Highlights Seattle Atlanta Chicago Los Angeles New York
  27. 27. Why the Alliance supporting people already within the profession “I feel like I'm an ambassador for librarianship.” “Being a Field Recruiter has helped me tremendously. Now I am able to communicate about what I do in a succinct, clear, and concise way as well as discuss the broad opportunities within the profession.” “Being a librarian that doesn't fit the mold (young and Latina) has been difficult on various fronts, but having the opportunity to serve as a role model and inspiration to future professionals makes the hardships worthwhile. The added boost of confidence has come from interacting with other librarians across library types and geographies and learning their stories. ” “This program has had a huge impact on me in various ways. I feel that I have been able to give back that much more to my profession and to programs and people that have helped me get to where I am. I am also much more comfortable discussing librarianship in general. Another good part is that my participation in this program has also impacted my library. I am currently working in a metropolitan area with very little diversity, so just making people aware of diversity issues within librarianship here was a huge thing.”
  28. 28. “I'm more aware of my presence in Librarianship from a diversity perspective. The story of how I came to Librarianship and how what I do benefits society is front and center when I meet anyone new. The impact of practicing my elevator speech, interacting with other librarians, and talking to potential recruits has increased my confidence exponentially. I would often feel out of place as there are very few librarians I've met who have similar experiences to mine; things have changed greatly since I got involved. The support I've had from my employer and co-workers as a result of this program is incredible. I'm now a go-to resource for my colleagues helping students who demonstrate an interest in the profession.” Why the Alliance supporting people already within the profession
  29. 29. Raise your hand if you would like to help us keep the momentum going!
  30. 30. Library schools, associations and organizations can all work together to fund the Knowledge Alliance moving forward, contact for more information on how to co-sponsor Knowledge Allies at career and job fairs. Share information on scholarships, volunteer opportunities, jobs and internships targeting pre-professionals with for inclusion on the Knowledge Alliance website. Identify local events where the Knowledge Alliance can connect with and support prospective LIS students from underrepresented groups! The Knowledge Alliance a collective effort
  31. 31. Early career librarians currently working in the field can visit for information on the expectations of Knowledge Allies. Current students are invited to blog about diversity and their experiences in degree programs on the Knowledge Alliance website. The Knowledge Alliance a collective effort
  32. 32. Email: | #meetyourally