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Converging Interests: Recruiting a Diverse Workforce for Academic Libraries. Kyung-Sun Kim (Assistant Professor) Ming-Hsin “Phoebe” Chiu (Doctoral Student) Sei-Ching Joanna Sin (Doctoral Student) Louise S. Robbins (Director and Professor) School of Library and Information Studies

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converging interests recruiting a diverse workforce for academic libraries

Converging Interests: Recruiting a Diverse Workforce for Academic Libraries

Kyung-Sun Kim (Assistant Professor)

Ming-Hsin “Phoebe” Chiu (Doctoral Student)

Sei-Ching Joanna Sin (Doctoral Student)

Louise S. Robbins (Director and Professor)

School of Library and Information Studies

University of Wisconsin-Madison

agenda
Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Project Presentations
    • Study 1:

Subject specialists for academic and research libraries: research, recruitment, and education

    • Study 2:

Recruiting and retaining students of color for ethnic/cultural diversity in librarianship

  • Conclusions
  • Discussions
introduction
Introduction
  • Attempt to be responsive to needs of the field in two different but complementary areas
  • Improve our recruitment and that of other schools
  • Value your feedback on these projects
subject specialists for academic and research libraries research recruitment and education
Subject Specialists for Academic and Research Libraries: Research, Recruitment, and Education
  • Overview
    • Introduction
    • Background
    • Research Design
    • Preliminary Findings
    • Significance of Research and Implications
introduction1
Introduction
  • A three-year project funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Maryland College Park.
  • The two programs, with assistance from cooperating libraries on these campuses and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will carry out the project.
background
Background
  • Changing demographics of academic librarianship
    • By the year of 2010, more than 83,886 librarians in North American will have reached the age of 65 (Curran, 2003)
    • 23.1% of vacancies in public libraries and university libraries result from a shortage of qualified people with particular specialty (Lynch, 2002)
  • Why do we care about the need for subject specialists?
    • Subject expertise
    • Language expertise
    • Familiarity with scholarly communication
    • Contributions from multiple perspectives
research objectives
Research Objectives
  • To answer questions regarding the supply of and demand for subject specialists in academic and research libraries
  • To discover successful approaches to recruiting subject specialists in various academic disciplines in university
  • To craft and test a curricular structure that is responsive to the future need of subject specialists and subject knowledge
research design
Research Design
  • IMLS Grant Year One
    • Data collection from
      • ALA-accredited LIS education programs
      • Advanced degree holders enrolled in ALA-accredited LIS education programs
      • ARL libraries directors and practicing librarians
  • IMLS Grant Year Two
    • The admission into the two programs of six students
    • Development of recruitment and curriculum models
  • IMLS Grant Year Three
    • Development and test of recruitment and curriculum models
preliminary findings
Preliminary Findings
  • Report from two steps of data collection
    • Survey of ALA accredited LIS education programs
    • Survey of Advanced degree holders enrolled in ALA accredited LIS education programs
findings lis education programs
Findings: LIS Education Programs
  • Difficulties in obtaining data on the advanced degree holders enrolled in the LIS education programs
    • Schools can provide total numbers of degrees, but not subject fields without extensive work
    • Student information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
    • Time and human resource limitations
  • What we’ve learned?
    • Information regarding the actual supply of subject specialists hasn’t been systematically collected and documented
findings lis education programs1
Findings: LIS Education Programs
  • Special recruiting strategies
    • University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill: ARL Fellows Program (funded by IMLS); Carolina Library Associates Fellowship/Assistantship in the Academic Library
  • Special admission provisions
    • GRE waiver may be requested
    • Applicants with 3.4 GPA or better in prior master’s may waive entrance exam (U of North Texas)
  • Special curriculum
    • Students are allowed to take more independent studies (UW-Madison)
    • Dual degree or joint degree programs
findings lis master s students
Findings: LIS Master’s Students
  • Number of participants
    • 326 subject specialists
    • Data gathered on national basis
  • Type of schools participating in the research (according to Carnegie Classification)
    • Doctoral/research universities
    • Master’s colleges and universities
in what type of library environment are the subject specialists interested in working
In what type of library environment are the subject specialists interested in working?
what are the primary and secondary factors that attracted the subject specialists to choose lis
What are the primary and secondary factors that attracted the subject specialists to choose LIS?
slide21
What are the positive and negative factors that influenced the subject specialists’ decisions to undertake the LIS degree program?
significance of research
Significance of Research
  • First comprehensive effort to look at both actual and projected supply of and demand for subject specialists
  • The approach to measure supply and demand will be appropriate to provide the same information about other types of library personnel
  • The study will be generalizable; and LIS education programs should be able to replicate both recruitment and curriculum models
implications
Implications
  • Strategies
    • Fellowship/financial aids; special admission provisions; special curriculum
  • Targets
    • Graduate students; undergraduate students; library assistants
  • LIS education
    • Provides general courses in reference and information services, user needs, collection management, cataloging and bibliographical control, and practicum/internship
    • Individualized curriculum
recruiting and retaining students of color for ethnic cultural diversity in librarianship
Recruiting and Retaining Students of Color for Ethnic/Cultural Diversity in Librarianship
  • Overview
    • Introduction
    • Background
    • Research Design
    • Findings
    • Implications
introduction2
Introduction
  • Supported by a 2004 ALA Diversity Research Grant
  • A national survey of librarians and information professionals of color
  • To assess the recruitment and retention of students of color in LIS schools
background1
Background
  • Minority population
  • 32.5% of US population(Census Bureau, 2001) 47% by 2050
  • 29% in US colleges and universities(NCES, 2004)
  • 20% in graduate program(NCES, 2004)
  • 11.2% (African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans) in LIS Schools(ALISE, 2000)
  • 13% of academic librarian populations(ALA)
  • Why diversity matters?

Interpersonal similarity (e.g., ethnicity):

      • increases ease of communication,
      • fosters relationships of trust and reciprocity, and a sense of belonging and membership (Barak et al., 1998; Hernandez, 1994).

Ethnic diversity enriches a society by offering all citizens more opportunities to experience, learn, and understand one another.

research design1
Research Design

Web survey study

  • Data collection (11/2004-3/2005)

Participants

  • Librarians of color who graduated with a master’s degree from an ALA-accredited LIS program or are currently enrolled in such a program
  • 182 participants
  • 77 academic librarians (42% of participants)

Data collected

  • Demographics
  • LIS schools’ recruitment/retention efforts: Satisfaction & perception
  • Effective recruitment/retention strategies: Suggestions
participants academic librarians demographics
Participants: Academic Librarians - Demographics
  • Sex: Female (83%); Male (16%)
  • Age: 20’s (17%); 30’s (35%); 40’s (17%);

50’s (30%); 60’s (1%)

  • Graduation Year (MLIS):

1960s (1%); 1990s (31%);

1970s (17%); 2000s (36%)

1980s (6%);

  • 35% of the participants are bilingual/multi-lingual
time gap between the completion of mlis and the first employment in lis
Time Gap between the Completion of MLIS and the First Employment in LIS
  • Already working in LIS (56%)
  • 0 - 0.5 years (23%)
  • 0.5 – 1 years (10%)
  • 1 – 2 years (3%)
  • 2 – 3 years (1%)
  • 4 – 5 years (1%)
  • No answer (5%)
lis associations effective strategies
LIS Associations - Effective strategies
  • Advertising, public relations
  • Active recruitment
  • Initiatives/Scholarships
  • Mentoring
  • Internships
  • Conferences
  • Networking
advertising public relations suggested strategy
Advertising, Public Relations - Suggested strategy
  • “We need to participate and be more visible in community events to shatter stereotypes. I would like to see a commercial similar to the Johnson & Johnson ‘I am a Nurse’--but for librarians.”
active recruitment suggested strategy
Active Recruitment - Suggested strategy
  • “I think that in many communities librarianship isn't presented or thought of as an option - just not considered. Being in these places can make a big difference. For example, I work at _____, and many of the students in the Liberal Studies program are planning on becoming teachers and might consider librarianship if suggested. I think Teacher Education and Education programs are a great place to present the idea of librarianship (not to steal much needed teachers- but it might be a better fit for some).”
active recruitment suggested strategy1
Active Recruitment - Suggested Strategy
  • “A human contact or a personal invitation has twice the impact in the ethnic communities as any media advertisement. I have taken the time to take some of my staff members for a visit to my alma mater. Advisors there were expecting the visit and also took the time to explain some of the programs. Out of the three I have taken in the past years, one is graduating May 2005, the other has taken 3 classes and is preparing to take the GED test. The third one is finishing her bachelor degree at a local university but has a clear idea on how to proceed about enrolling for her MLS. She wants to be a Youth Services Librarian.”
mentoring suggested strategy
Mentoring - Suggested strategy
  • “Mentorship by those already in school or in the field of librarianship. Those of us who are already in the field have to be very cognizant that we are role models. I once had a little girl tell me that she wanted to be a librarian. I wonder if she would have said that, had I not been there to show her that little African American girls can grow up to be Librarians.”
decision to pursue mlis what who influenced
Decision to Pursue MLIS – What/Who influenced?
decision to pursue the graduate degree in lis what who influenced all
Decision to pursue the graduate degree in LIS – What/Who influenced? (All)

Responses from other participants: non-academic librarians (n=105)

implications1
Implications
  • Strategies
    • Scholarship/Financial aid
    • Work opportunity
    • Mentoring
  • Target groups
    • Undergraduates; Graduate students; High school students
    • Library work students/paraprofessionals
  • Partnership
    • Library associations
    • Academic librarians
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Strategies
    • Scholarship/Financial aid
    • Work opportunity/Practicum/Internship
  • Target groups
    • Undergraduates & Graduates
    • Library work students
  • Partnership
    • Library associations
    • Academic librarians