June 19, 2012

For more information, contact:

Mark A. Puente
Association of Research Libraries

ARL Diversity Programs Awarded IMLS Grant to Fund Career Enhancement Program

Washington, DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Diversity Programs have been awarded a $481,751 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st-Century Librarian Program to support the Career Enhancement Program (CEP). The ARL CEP is a minority fellowship program that recruits library and information science (MLIS) students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups into careers in research and academic libraries.

The CEP partners with eight ARL member libraries to provide each program participant with a six- to twelve-week paid internship, as well as a suite of other benefits. The full, eight-month fellowship experience includes a formal mentoring program, opportunities for leadership development, and career placement assistance. Over a three-year period, funding from IMLS will support the fellowship for 32 diverse MLIS students (10–12 students per year).

The ARL CEP uses a cohort model, where CEP Fellows are assigned in pairs to the host libraries. The program encourages the development of a close network of peers, while at the same time providing outstanding MLIS students with practical learning experiences to complement their library school coursework.

Brian E. C. Schottlaender, the Audrey Geisel University Librarian at the University of California, San Diego, offered his thoughts on the program: “As one of the eight founding institutions to participate in the ARL Career Enhancement Program, UC San Diego is proud to have sponsored six CEP Fellows over the past three years and is pleased to see the program extended for another three years. Fostering and expanding diversity within the library profession is a critical part of our continued existence and success.”

Regarding the impact of the program on the ARL partner libraries, Joyce Backus, Deputy Associate Director for Library Operations at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) commented: “The ARL Career Enhancement Program fellowships bring library science students from underrepresented populations to the National Library of Medicine, where interactions between students and staff have extended the goals of NLM and made lasting connections that expanded our common professional networks. NLM considers its participation in this program a significant element in its strategic initiative to develop a Workforce for the Future.”

Program Components
The ARL CEP has four main components:

  • Six to Twelve-Week Internship Experience: Each Fellow will have a unique opportunity to work in a research library to gain both educational and professional experience while earning an MLIS. Fellows will be appointed in pairs to create an internship cohort at each host institution.
  • Mentoring Relationship: A professional librarian at the host institution will be chosen to mentor each program participant 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 Symposium, hosted in January of their program year during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. During the institute, the Fellows will have an opportunity to explore the major strategic concerns facing academic and research librarianship, and discuss transitioning into a research library upon graduation. The Fellows will have an opportunity to connect with other ARL Fellows and Diversity Scholars, library leaders, and other MLIS students who attend the annual event.
  • Career Placement: ARL staff will work with each Fellow to identify an appropriate and meaningful position in a research library upon completing their MLIS.

Eligibility Requirements
Applicants for the CEP fellowship must:

  • be accepted into 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 prior to engaging in the internship.

Host Libraries
The internship host institutions are:

  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Columbia University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Michigan
  • National Library of Medicine
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Washington

Application forms will be available in late summer 2012.

More Information
For more details about the ARL Career Enhancement Program, visit the CEP website.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 126 research libraries in the US and Canada. 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, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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