Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce - Call for Applications

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW). Deadline: May 1, 2012.
February 9, 2012

For more information, contact:
Mark A. Puente
Association of Research Libraries
Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce Call for Applications

Deadline May 1, 2012

Washington DC—The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is accepting applications for the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW), a program designed to recruit master of library and information science (MLIS) students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic and racial minority groups into careers in research libraries. The IRDW includes a stipend up to $10,000 over two years, leadership and career development training, financial support for skills development, and a formal mentorship program.

The IRDW is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and ARL member libraries. This program reflects the commitment of ARL members to create a diverse research library community that will better meet the challenges of changing demographics in higher education and the emphasis of global perspectives in the academy.

Program Goal and Objectives

Attracting MLIS students from underrepresented groups to careers in research libraries, especially students with educational backgrounds (preferably a baccalaureate degree) in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) disciplines†

Strengthening participants' leadership and job searching skills via a Leadership Symposium held during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting

Developing a network of mentors who will guide and nurture the career development of the participants

† Candidates from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. Those without academic training in STEM disciplines will be required to complete coursework that will better prepare the candidate to work in one of the designated areas.

Successful applicants will meet the following criteria:

Member of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group (Note: Racial and ethnic identification is based on the categories outlined by the US Census and include: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino.)

Citizen or permanent resident of the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada

Acceptance into an ALA-accredited MLIS program

Interest in pursuing a career in a research library

All applicants are required to submit the following materials by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012:

Applicant summary sheet


A 400-word (maximum) essay describing what attracts you to a career in a research library

Two letters of reference

Official undergraduate and graduate school transcripts including your last academic semester completed

Copy of an official letter of acceptance from an ALA-accredited library/information schoo

The application form is online at For more information about the program, see the IRDW 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