Getting Together To Go Forward: The Lessons of Diversity Initiatives and How To Implement Them At Your Library


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Graduates from various library diversity initiatives will discuss their experiences and summarize their programs’ outcomes. Presenters and participants will then brainstorm and explore various strategies that their institutions can use to recruit, nurture, and retain more individuals from under-represented groups. At the conclusion of the program, participants will share their suggestions with the larger group. (These ideas will form the nucleus of a Wiki resource that librarians can use for furthering diversity efforts.)

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  • PULSE was a library recruitment, leadership and training program specifically for urban public libraries PULSE was funded by a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. PULSE was a partnership between Brooklyn Public Library and Pratt School of Information and Library Science
  • Program participants were called PULSE trainees. Trainees were Pratt library school students. There were three cohorts. A cohort for each year, 2004-2006. There were a total of 21 trainees + a selection of Pratt students in PULSE internships each semester
  • Before we go into the program features, I want to talk about the reasons behind PULSE, besides it being a library recruitment, leadership and training program. Library Journal summed it nicely - "At LJ [Library Journal], we've long been railing against the disconnect between library education and practice, PULSE binds the two together."
  • Full-time salaried position (28-35 hours per week) Rotation-based structure (3-month rotations in various library locations and departments) Conference attendance support Tuition reimbursement (partial) Mentor and mentee pairing Monthly knowledge seminars (overview of various library departments, various library topics) Entry-level librarian positions offered after program completion/library school graduation – not mandatory to stay, just offered
  • Each trainee worked in over 12 library locations in addition to other departments such as: collection-development web-applications literacy government-affairs marketing the-childs-place-for-children-with-special-needs kidsmobile services-to-the-aging business-library science-and-technology art-and-music multilingual-center brooklyn-collection
  • PULSE did a great job of exposing trainees to various aspects of working in a library and being an information professional rather than focusing on the stereotypical things about being a librarian. The practical experience was invaluable and it led to three job offers upon graduation. I got a better understanding of the information profession and what areas interest me & the direction I want my career to go in.
  • A major downside to the program is the lack of training in certain areas and skills such as grant writing & project management that is essential to the profession. I would include multilingual and under-represented populations not just people of color. There should be a group project requiring trainees to use practical skills, project management skills, communication and networking. The program can be improved by providing continued networking opportunities.
  • As mentioned earlier, PULSE was a three year-grant funded program. The grant funding ended and Brooklyn Public Library decided not to pursue the renewal of the grant due to budget concerns. As part of the grant requirements, the library provides matching funds for the trainee salaries.
  • Since the program ended, where are the trainees now? Keep in mind that this is a partial list. 9 of the 21 trainees are still currently working at Brooklyn Public Library. Geographically – new-york california bahamas massachusetts boston ohio oklahoma washington-dc Job roles & titles - independent-information-professionals library-managers public-librarians school-librarians international-librarian correctional-services-librarian library-directors web-analyst information-commons-coordinator
  • What worked and what didn’t work about the PULSE program. Lessons Learned. Practical hands-on experience is invaluable Exposure to different areas of a library helps future librarians figure out their areas of interest and career paths Need for continuous networking opportunities during and after the program Lack of training in key areas such as grant writing and project management Need to include multilingual and under-represented groups in addition to people of color, including people with disabilities Takeaways from PULSE for you to keep in mind for current & future library diversity initiatives and programs.
  • Good Morning, Again My name is Edwin B. Maxwell and I am an information literacy instructor at ASA institute and a Senior Librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. As mentioned earlier, I have had the distinct honor of participating in numerous diversity initiatives, including PULSE which Lisa spoke about earlier and MIP which Louis will speak about next, but I am going to speak about one that I particularly hold close to my heart and that is ALA’s Spectrum Iniative. How many people here are Spectrum Scholars, Are their any people here that are currently in Grad School?-If you are not graduating this is something you should seriously consider doing. There is so much I could talk about with Spectrum but I only have a few moments, so let me touch on a few points that I think are important and that we can use to further the discussion when we break into groups later on.
  • Spectrum is ALA’s national diversity initiative which was started in 1997 by ALA President Dr. Betty J. Turock. The Scholarship program and recruitment effort is ALA’s proactive effort to solve the issue of the lack of diversity and underrepresentation of ethic librarians in the library profession.
  • Official Read statement : I chose to highlight the phrase …. I don’t think we need to get into another big discussion with what that means. I think we all here get the point. How many of you feel like your staff is not reflective of the community you serve. Quick note to that point I work for brooklyn public library which is the 5 th largest library system in the US that serves over 2.5 million brooklnynites. 1.4 million or 56% of Brooklynites identify as non white or people of color. BPL has over 200 professional staff members, now I don’t know the offcial numbers on what percentage of the professional staff are people of color but what I can tell you is this. There are 3 of us up here right now and there is not whole lot more of us. I believe were are about on par with the national average. The Diversity counts Study said about 11% of professtionals working in the field are ethnic minorites. We are probably on par with that. I say mention that just to reiterate how critical these iniatives are and why we have to continue fighting for them.
  • Back to Spectrum So the benefits of Spectrum. Build toward having a workforce that more closely resembles the community you serve. Along with that comes Employees with an Unique skillset expertise that is beneficial and sometimes mandatory when serving these populations. And lastly and possible the most important you receive employees who are passionate, dedicated, future library leaders. Spectrum Institute- 3 day intensive leadership training. When I say intesive I mean Intensive.. 9am-9pm. It was the well constructed and most effective workshop I have ever participated in. No one wanted to go home. There was 3 major reasons for this 1) Refreshing to see so many other young, vibrant librarians of color. 2) filled with practical knowledge from people that were working in the field. We had workshops named 1.2.5 The Real Low-Down: LIS Education Vs. Your First LIS Job What You Need to Know Before You Get Out There, 1:30-3pm, Royal E/F Professional Options fair 3) We reallly got to know each other and other Spectrum Scholars. We were locked in a room with these people for 13 hrs a day. We forged relationship that last for a lifetiime.
  • 2) Similar experiences 4) Every aspect of informational service from typical reference Librarians to Managers of Special Collections, Digital Librarians Everyone
  • Now most important when we look at National recruiting effort. Recruit from people from a variety of disciplines. 50-80 are chosen from a field 150-300 applicants annually. There's a weighted system and those 3 factors make up the highest percentage of points. Leadership potential, academic achievement and quality of application are lower factors in the overall evaluation. Develop  
  • This may sound cliché but the key is in the people. Programs could end at the Institute. But Spectrum Scholars seem to go away. Constanstly A lot of credit has to go to Wendy Assistant Director Office of Diversity. But it leads to those three thing Recruit people Passionate Leaders 2) Develop- Put the time and effort into these people and inturn you will get that third-snd most crucial part Retention.
  • - Depending on group size, maybe have everyone do quick intro (name & library) or show of hands for library type - Panelist/presenter = facilitator, ask for a notetaker & reporter
  • Getting Together To Go Forward: The Lessons of Diversity Initiatives and How To Implement Them At Your Library

    1. 1. Getting Together To Go Forward:The Lessons of Diversity Initiatives and How to Implement Them at Your Library September 22, 2012
    2. 2. • Lisa Chow PULSE (Public Urban Library Service Education)• Latanya N. Jenkins ARL; Diversity Fellowship• Edwin B. Maxwell Spectrum• Louis Muñoz Jr. Moderator; MIP (Multicultural Internship Program)
    3. 3. PresentersLisa Chow is a newish information professional with a few "libraryribbons" including SLA Rising Star, LJ Mover & Shaker, ALA EmergingLeader, ARL Diversity Scholar and PULSE (Public Urban LibraryService Education) Trainee. She is currently working as a Web Analystat Brooklyn Public Library. Lisa is half of People Interact, a consultancythat empowers libraries and other organizations to be people-centered.Find out more at
    4. 4. PresentersLatanya N. Jenkins is an academic librarian who also was anAmerican Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leader sponsored bythe Reference & User Services Association (RUSA). She is a pastAssociation of Research Libraries (ARL) Diversity Scholar and mentoras well as a past fellow and visiting assistant professor at PurdueUniversity Libraries. Latanya was a recent participant in the MinnesotaInstitute for Early Career Librarians from TraditionallyUnderrepresented Groups. She works as a Reference Librarian &Government Documents, Head at Morgan State Universitys Earl S.Richardson Library in Baltimore, MD. Latanya is the liaison to theSchool of Architecture + Planning.
    5. 5. PresentersEdwin B. Maxwell is a lecturer of Information Literacy at ASA instituteand a senior librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library.He is a proud product of numerous library diversity initiatives includingALA’s Spectrum Institute, New York Black Librarians’ Caucus DonnaHoke Scholar and the program and Brooklyn Public Library’s Pulse. Heholds these initiatives very close to his heart and continues tochampion for diversity in libraries by serving as the chairperson for theNew York Black Librarian’s Caucus’ Scholarship committee, a mentorto high school students as part of Brooklyn Public Library’s MulticulturalInternship Project, and a recruiter for ALA’s Discovering LibrarianshipProgram.
    6. 6. PresentersLouis Muñoz Jr. is a product of the PULSE leadership and diversityprogram. He currently works in the Multilingual Center at BrooklynPublic Library (BPL), providing services and support to immigrants. Heis a Mentor in the Multicultural Internship Program (MIP), and serves onthis and other BPL committees. Louis has been Secretary of the NewYork Library Association’s (NYLA) Ethnic Services Roundtable andREFORMA’s Northeast Chapter (RNE), as well as Vice-President andPresident of RNE. His President’s Initiatives included proposing andcreating a new scholarship fund for library school students (to promoterecruitment), and helping create another annual award for currentprofessionals (to promote retention). Louis has been Co-Chair ofREFORMA National’s Recruitment and Mentoring Committee and iscurrently Chair of several RNE committees, as well as the 2012-2014Secretary of REFORMA National. In addition, he has been a moderatorand presenter at various library conferences.
    7. 7. Public Urban Library Service Education (PULSE) Program Lisa Chow
    8. 8. What is PULSE?• PULSE = Public Urban Library Service Education• Library recruitment, leadership, and training program• Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) three-year grant: $516,732• Partnership between Brooklyn Public Library and Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science
    9. 9. PULSE Trainees• Pratt library school students• Three cohorts (2004-2006) = total of 21 PULSE Trainees• Selection of Pratt students in PULSE internships each semester
    10. 10. Why PULSE? • "At LJ [Library Journal], weve long been railing against the disconnect between library education and practice, PULSE binds the two together."
    11. 11. PULSE Features• Full-time salaried position• Rotation-based structure (3-month rotations in various library locations and departments)• Conference attendance support• Tuition reimbursement• Mentor and mentee pairing• Monthly knowledge seminars• Entry-level librarian positions offered after program completion/library school graduation
    12. 12. PULSE Rotations
    13. 13. What PULSE trainees are saying...
    14. 14. What PULSE trainees are saying...
    15. 15. Brooklyn PL Ends PULSE
    16. 16. Where are they now?*Partial list
    17. 17. Takeaways from PULSE• Practical hands-on experience is invaluable• Exposure to different areas of a library - areas of interest and career paths• Need for continuous networking opportunities during and after the program• Lack of training in key areas such as grant writing and project management• Need to include multilingual and under- represented groups in addition to people of color
    18. 18. Association of Research Libraries (ARL)Diversity Scholars Program and Purdue University Fellowship Program Latanya N. Jenkins
    19. 19. ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse WorkforcePurpose: "to attract students from racial and ethnic minority groups to careers in academic and research libraries"
    20. 20. ARL IRDWHistory• Began in 2002• Annual, became biennial in 2004• leadership development• scholarship• formal mentoring• funding: IMLS grant & ARL libraries
    21. 21. ARL IRDW: Leadership TrainingALA Midwinter•Networking with ARL library directors & human resources representatives•Advice from program alumni•Attend & participate in discussions on issues in academic libraries
    22. 22. ARL IRDW• Also, supports signature ARL institutions with recruitment efforts of minorities• Emphasis on support of new professionals/ recent graduate preparation for academic library work• Promotion of implementing residency programs within ARL institutions
    23. 23. ARL visit to Purdue University LibrariesPurdue University is an ARL Institution•hosted ARL IRDW Diversity scholars since 2005•Annual commitment to promote discussion in research libraries•Series of panels discussing emerging technology, scholarly communication, etc.•Reception held at the Black Cultural Center
    24. 24. Purdue University Libraries Fellowship ProgramPurpose:"Supporting national initiatives to promote diversity in librarianship by preparing new librarians to lead change through transformative thinking in service to diverse users."
    25. 25. Purdue University Libraries FellowshipThe Program Details... Dates: 2006-2008  Initially two 2 Year Professional positions  Visiting Assistant Professor, Non-tenure track faculty
    26. 26. Interviewing...Results from hundreds of applicants- Four candidates from diverse backgrounds chosen- Year 1: option to Rotate through 3-4 library departments/ units- Year 2: Capstone
    27. 27. Purdue University Libraries FellowsThe Program Details...Par ticipant Goals ensuring access to information vital for the success of those with various endeavors... an opportunity fulfill a desire to to discover ways promotion of work in an contribute skills and knowledge... library environment which is resources... service oriented...
    28. 28. The RotationsFrom Reference to Digital Initiatives work o digitization & grant projects o transcribing letters & diaries: George Winters o oral history projects o processing Virginia Kelly Karnes collection o reference & instruction: information literacy o website analysis o collection development o access services & technical services work
    29. 29. Networking & collaborationsParticipants were encouraged to pursue local and national opportunities. o Received a grant & collaborated with local libraries o Liaisons to Black Cultural Center (BCC), Latino Cultural Center (LCC) & Native American Educational & Cultural Center (NAECC) o Conference support and promotion through invited talks
    30. 30. CapstonesParticipants final year...Collection development activities• Organizing and cataloging the Latino Cultural Centers collectionSpecial collections:• Outreach to diverse Greek campus groups• Oral history project with leaders of the Cultural Centers
    31. 31. Opportunities to grow & lead
    32. 32. American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Edwin B. Maxwell
    33. 33. What is Spectrum? • • Established in 1997,• the Spectrum Scholarship Program is • ALAs national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the • specific issue of under- representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession.
    34. 34. Spectrums Mission
    35. 35. Benefits of SpectrumFor Organization For Scholar •$5,000 tuition• Diverse Workforce •Free ALA Membership• Unique Expertise •Spectrum Leadership• Passionate Institute Employees
    36. 36. Additional Benefits
    37. 37. Who are Spectrum Scholars• Over 700 Spectrum Scholars• Professionals from Underrepresented Groups• 50 Library Schools• Wide Array of Library Positions
    38. 38. The Spectrum Model• Recruit• Highly competitive national recruiting process• Develop• Leadership training• Formal/Informal Mentoring• Retain• Constant engagement and support
    39. 39. Key to Spectrum’s Success
    40. 40. The Multicultural Internship Program @ Brooklyn Public Library Louis Muñoz, Sept. 22, 2012
    41. 41. What is the Multicultural Internship Program?Introduces high school students from different ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds to the diverse opportunities available to library professionals.
    42. 42. OBJECTIVES of MIP:1. Help increase the number of qualified professionals for employment as librarians.2. Give teens from diverse backgrounds exposure to & experience in a range of LIS responsibilities & areas.3. Connect teens to their communities.4. Increase ethnic & linguistic diversity of BPL librarians to reflect the borough’s diversity.5. Better serve the needs and interests of Brooklyn’s diverse populations.6. Address issues faced by libraries of similar size & type.7. Reflect a vision of change.
    43. 43. Genesis…• Assessment/Focus Groups: Only 4 out of 22 teens had considered LIS as a career option.• Idea that librarians deal mostly with books.• Disconnect between activities rewarding to teens and awareness of librarians being involved in those kinds of activities.• According to a 5-yr. ALA Spectrum survey, “the single most predictive indicator for choosing to enter a LIS program was prior experience working in a library.” (Loriene Roy et al., Bridging Boundaries to Create a New Workforce: A Survey of Spectrum Scholarship Recipients, 1998-2003, American Library Association, 2006.)
    44. 44. Other influences on creation of MIP:• Fairfax County (VA) Library’s IMLS-funded An American Future program• New York Hall of Science’s Career Ladder (mentoring & recruitment program)• Knowledge River, University of Arizona• Study on Generation 1.5 students
    45. 45. Competitive Selection Process: Total of 171 students chosen from across Brooklyn for paid internshipfor 200 service hours, January - June.
    46. 46. Orientation Workshops:• “Case of the Missing Fish: Customer Service at Its Finest” (HR Office)• “College Readiness for Young Adults” (Business & Career Library)• “Do You Speak My Language? Serving Brooklyn’s Immigrants through Cultural Awareness” (Multilingual Center)• “Young Person’s Guide to Electronic Resources at BPL” (Office of Collection Development)
    47. 47. School-Year InternshipVariety of General Projects, including:• Assisted with language interpretation & translation• Provided tech support• Created book displays• Shadowed librarians and other staff and created• Ran programs for kids and teens
    48. 48. School-Year InternshipExamples of Specific Projects:• Chinese New Year Celebration• Teen Tech Week Bingo• Teen Tech Week Jeopardy• Mehndi programs• “Are You a Teen Looking for a Job?”• Open Mic Night at Spring Creek• Videos: “Why I Love My Library” & “The True Story of Agatha Cunningham” (Check them out on YouTube!!)
    49. 49. MIP Elective Workshops/ Training Activities• MIP Book Club • Music Appreciation• Brooklyn Open • Brooklyn Collection• Central Library Tour • Today’s Teens/Tomorrow’s Techies• A Night at the Improv! • ESOL & Pre-GED Registrations• Career Readiness • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day• Chat Sessions • T4 Comic Book Club workshops• Show Me How to Do That! • CPR To-Go Program• MIP Mentor/Intern Get Together • Dweck Auditorium Programs• Library Field Trips • GameSpace Workshops
    50. 50. Chat Session with Nick Higgins (PULSE graduate!!), Correctional Services Librarian, NYPL
    51. 51. Summer InternshipsGeneral Projects: “Front-line” & “behind-the-scenes" work @: -Languages & Literature & Youth Wing -Office of Library Technology -Collection Development -Programs & Exhibitions -Youth & Family Services -Volunteer Services -Brooklyn Collection
    52. 52. Summer Internships, continued:Specific Projects:• Represented BPL at NYC Digital Waves Youth Media Festival & other events• PowerUP! Business Plan Competition• "Then and Now" photography project• Booklists• Website
    53. 53. Some Student Reflections:• “My expectations have changed drastically. I thought that I would only be dealing with books, but now I know that I can give my opinion and exchange ideas of what I would like to see in the library.”• “My expectations of the library is no longer just about it being a place where you check out books and use the computer. I’ve learned that the library offers many opportunities for children, adults who live here, and people who are new to the country.”• “I did not expect to actually become interested in the librarian profession.”• “It’s a hard job. The librarians do more than I have expected them to do. They do a lot for the community, which is very good.”
    54. 54. Benefits & Reasons for Becoming Mentors:• Working with teens/wanting to be positive role models: “I’m really interested in engaging teens in the library in ways that place them in more active, creative roles.”• Paying it forward: “I want to be a mentor because I started here as a trainee and know first-hand the importance of a good internship experience.”• Hope to develop new skills themselves: “Professionally, [I hope to] develop leadership skills and build confidence [and] get a fresh perspective from the mentee.”
    55. 55. Additional Benefits & Reasons:• Useful extra help at their branches: “We hope our branch will benefit from the help of an enthusiastic intern, who will have a chance to assist in after-school programming.”• Chance to present librarianship as an attractive career: “I like the idea of recruiting our next generation of librarians now. I think that the skills the interns get in the library will help them in any career path they choose.”• Finally: “The obvious benefits for the intern, community, and the library make this an opportunity I could not miss exploring.”
    56. 56. “Early Days,” but…• 10 MIP alumni have become part-time staffers. (Would be more, but…)• About 10 have joined the T4 volunteer program (Today’s Teens, Tomorrow’s Techies).• Many MIP alumni continue to be active at BPL, i.e. Great American Book Drive & author chats. (Note: Because of time constraints, ask us later about OBE (Outcome-Based Evaluations)).
    57. 57. Successes and Unexpected Lessons • Help the mentors! • Develop a supportive team • Being the “other adult” in the teens’ lives • Advocates for the library • Confidence and leadership building • Bonding between mentors and interns • Boost of energy to Brooklyn Public Library • What’s possible with a captive audience • The MIP Map blog and wiki (“SELL IT!!)
    58. 58. This project was made possible by a grantfrom the U.S. Institute of Museum andLibrary Services, which is the primarysource of federal support for the nations122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. TheInstitutes mission is to create stronglibraries and museums that connectpeople to information and ideas.
    59. 59. So many people to thank, Soooo little time,…
    60. 60. Summary
    61. 61. Your Turn - Break into discussion groupsGroup 1: “Design It!” Group 3: “Keep It Going!”If you were to design and What would be the bestimplement your own library ways to recruit, develop,diversity program, what and retain a diversewould it encompass? librarian staff?Group 2: “Pitch It!” Group 4: “Grow Them!”How would you pitch and How do we grow librarysell your library diversity diversity throughout all titlesideas to management, and stages of the librarianadministration and potential profession, through legacyfunders? building and succession planning?
    62. 62. What have we learned?• Summary from each group• Gallery Walk (Post-it notes)• Evaluations• Q&A