Deputy Director Prince William Public Library System
Libraries try to be warm, welcoming places for everyone, but librarianship isn’t warm and welcoming to everyone who works in libraries. For decades, there have been many initiatives focused on the retention of minority/underrepresent populations, initiatives such as Spectrum Program, ARL kaleidoscope program and more, but what happens when we get in? What retention efforts kick in after we are no longer in graduate school or in the same proximity with supportive and caring individuals? What is necessary to get us to stay? What are the current issues and solutions regarding retention? What systems and structures need to be changed in order to retain minority librarians?
In this session, the presenters will share their experiences on how they have been retained in the profession and share resources for administrations, minority librarians, and more on proven retention strategies. One of the areas that will be explored is retention needs on all stages of librarianship as well as looking at how age, cultural background, time in the profession, leadership role, ability, family obligations, gender, language, mental health, sexuality, socioeconomic status, community support, and more that impacts the effectiveness, strategies, and effort regarding retention.
Some of the current issues that will be discussed are lack of onboarding/orientation, unequal or no support for training or professional development, persistent absence of critical reviews of the institutional structures and systems of racism and inequity and more.