I wanted to speak very personally about an issue that is extremely near to my heart.
Diversity in Librarianship.
I was inspired to take on a more vocal, albeit digital, approach to my thoughts regarding librarians/archivists/museums professions of color with the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement. I understand these may on the surface seem like two separate issues, running parallel yet never crossing. However, I believe librarians are agents of social change, activists with the opportunity to work through our communities from the inside. But how can we be effective if our patrons can’t see themselves, and their realities, reflected in the service providers on the other side of the counter.
But What does diversity look like in the future of librarianship?
Overall, based on my personal experience, the experiences of my peers, and the scholarship of Dr. Josey, I hypothesize that the future of librarianship for people of color does not look good; not as professionals nor as patrons.
But I am only one person, and this is only one project; one project with a very limited time frame. Therefore, the scope of this project couldn’t be to question the entire future of black librarianship, nor could it be to explore my theories on hierarchical decrease. I could, however, begin to question the very first rung on the hierarchical ladder: students of color in library science education programs. If I believed that the problem lay both in the recruitment and in the retention of diverse populations, that recruitment must start somewhere.
With the help of the ALA Office of Research and Statistics, the ALA Office for Accreditation, and the ARL Office of Statistics and Assessment, I set to work.
My thoughts and conclusions on this project are far too extensive for the likes of this blog post. You can find my entire essay HERE via Google Docs (as you may have noticed, I have tried to make as much of this project Open Access as possible) or by simply clicking on this posting's title.
With its September 2014 publication, the American Library Association announced that out of the 40,582 members who participated in the annual membership demographic survey, ALA received the following racial breakdown as a reflection of its membership: