Leadership, Management and Organizational Development
This program describes creating a library diversity residency program at two academic libraries in predominantly White institutions in the Midwest. Panelists will facilitate a conversation about the challenges and opportunities to recruit and retain a diverse workforce in academia. The discussion will focus on roadblocks and successes in developing and implementing the ACRL Diversity Alliance Residency program at their institutions.
At BGSU, librarians will discuss how their library department has learned to navigate the complexities of recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse librarians within the University Libraries, HR, and other units across campus. Librarians will share some of the questions and difficult conversations related to hiring and retaining librarians of color: how to implement a diversity residency program when your library does not have any cultural competencies in place; which is more more effective - training library staff first and then hire and recruit; or seize opportunities to hire librarians of color and hope they stay? Also, they will describe the importance of collaborative innovations with other UL units and keeping an open-mind while developing and designing the residency program.
At UM, librarians will discuss the redesign of the residency program to support the needs of the individuals. Residents selected thematic areas that crossed over a variety of library units and divisions. This approach provided a matrix-based experience focused on the work and not on the division in which the resident is placed. This required a large, complex organization to function as one library to provide a fully integrated and cohesive experience. In addition, they will share some of the potential legal issues they encountered with DEI hiring in higher education.
Participants will learn about diversity recruitment initiatives, gain awareness of the unintentional labeling of librarians of color as responsible for diversity work, and develop a deeper understanding of how intentionality and culture change play major roles in diversifying the workforce. Emphasis will be on the design and implementation of our residency programs, as well as residents’ first-hand experiences. A Q&A session will discuss how diversity residency programs can help promote the value of the profession in academic settings.