IMLS Awards Grant for ARL/MLA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

For immediate release:
June 22, 2011

For more information, contact:
Mark A. Puente
Association of Research Libraries
202-296-2296
mpuente@arl.org

Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to fund a new partnership with the Music Library Association (MLA). The ARL/MLA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (ARL/MLA DII) will seek to address the need for professional staff in music and performing arts libraries to better reflect evolving demographics of students and faculty in music and performing arts higher education.

Academic research libraries are in need of trained professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups who have the experience and skills to work with music and performing arts collections and scholars. ARL and MLA—along with partner libraries at the University at Buffalo, SUNY; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the University of North Texas; and the University of Pittsburgh—will recruit 15 diverse students with educational backgrounds in music to participate in the three-year program. The ARL/MLA DII will provide financial support for master of library and information science education, paid membership in the American Library Association and MLA, mentoring by a music library/information professional from a partner library, paid internships at partner institutions, career skills workshops, and career placement services for the students. The goal of the program is to help create a diverse, well-qualified cadre of new LIS professionals who are equipped with the skills and knowledge to address the transformative professional roles in music and performing arts libraries in the 21st century.

As Marianne I. Gaunt, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Rutgers University, and member of the ARL Committee on Diversity and Leadership, noted, “It’s a great collaboration in an important area. There is so much creative work happening in music and the performing arts that we need a well-prepared, diverse cadre of librarians ready to enhance library services for this community!”

“The rewards of this initiative are great: not only do the recipients get superb training and experience, the Music Library Association will benefit greatly from the influx of new ideas and its ability to support the information needs of new communities,” James P. Cassaro, Head, Theodore M. Finney Music Library, University of Pittsburgh, remarked. “I am proud that the University of Pittsburgh is among the partner institutions that will benefit from this IMLS grant.”

More information and the full application form can be found here: http://www.arl.org/diversity/arl-mla-dii/index.shtml

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