Recruiting Future Librarians with Diverse Backgrounds: a Collaborative Project at ten University libraries in North Carolina
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Recruiting librarians with diverse backgrounds remains a challenging task for the library community in the U.S. The ALA Diversity Counts Report in 2007 states that the field is not recruiting or graduating enough ethnic minority librarians to replace the number expected to retire in the next two decades, highlighting the need to recruit the next generation of librarians with diverse backgrounds. In responding to this call, the University Libraries and the Department of Library and Information Studies (LIS) at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro (UNCG), in collaboration with 10 academic libraries in North Carolina, have created the Academic and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) Scholars Program which was funded by an IMLS grant in June 2008 and June 2010 respectively. This collaborative project assists with recruitment of students with diverse backgrounds to the LIS Department at UNCG, provides the students with internship opportunities, connects the students with experienced academic librarians for mentoring, and offers them cultural enrichment activities during their two-year MLIS program. This session will present the implementation of the IMLS funded project and provide updates on the progress of the program since its beginning in 2008.