This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries Diversity Residency

Diversity Residency

The Auburn University Libraries participates actively in several national projects designed to recruit and train a diverse and talented pool of academic librarians. Because studies project a severe shortage of qualified librarians during the next decade, members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) are addressing this challenge through the following programs:

  1. The Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce. With IMLS funding this initiative provides scholarships to approximately 25 excellent students from the four protected groups to attend an accredited librarianship program.
  2. Residence Programs in member libraries. Many ARL members recruit graduates of accredited programs and provide the opportunity for these new librarians to learn about working in ARL libraries and gain the two years of experience required of most applicants for tenure track positions by our peers. These new graduates then seek positions in ARL libraries, filling the pipeline with experienced and diverse applicants.
  3. The Leadership and Career Development Program. This program is designed to provide 25 early career librarians from protected groups the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and prepare them for midlevel leadership roles in Association of Research Libraries.

Members of the Association of Research Libraries are provided with opportunities to mentor and recruit participants from each of these programs. The Dean of the AU Libraries has actively participated as a member of the oversight committee in ARL, and as a mentor for the participants in these programs, and the AU Library has had many faculty and staff contribute through Auburn's residents program. We are currently revising, strengthening and clarifying that residents program. Participation provides us the opportunity to contribute to the future of our profession and maintain a preferred position in the recruitment of librarians who can contribute to the diversity and future of the Libraries.

What follows describes Auburn's Library Residents program, which has a significant role in Auburn's effort to recruit and prepare academic librarians. This residents program is a one-year program, renewable for a second year by mutual agreement of the resident and the Library, to introduce recent graduates from underrepresented ethnic groups to academic librarianship. The purpose of this program is to encourage recent library school graduates from underrepresented ethnic groups to participate in the academic library environment. Library residents often discover careers in academic librarianship, encourage others to seek such careers, and bring increased energy and diversity to the Auburn University campus and to academic librarianship. The Auburn University Libraries provide a technologically sophisticated academic research environment with a wide variety of on-going initiatives and projects.

At the beginning of each residency, the resident is given the opportunity to review submitted project descriptions from Library departments, choose the projects they would like to be involved with, and choose the departments or units to which they would prefer a briefer introduction. Among Library departments are Reference and Instruction Services; Acquisitions; the Veterinary Medical Library; the Library of Architecture, Design, and Construction; Cataloging; Systems; Circulation; and Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan. Other choices include rare books, manuscripts, university archives, and preservation.

After brief introductions to departments, the resident works on his or her chosen projects in an order determined by the resident in consultation with the Assistant Dean for Collection Development and the Library Leadership group. This process is designed to expose the resident to the breadth of opportunities in an academic library. By the end of this introductory process, which may last for six months or more, the resident should be prepared to begin more extensive exposure to one of the Library departments. The residents assignment to a department will be made in consultation with the Assistant Dean for Collection Development and the Library Leadership Group.

The Library conducts nationwide searches to identify candidates for open residency positions. A search committee recommends candidates to the Library Dean. When appointed, new residents are given the following support, information and guidance:

  1. Library residents are hired at the level of Librarian I, and serve at that level during their residency.
  2. As part of their weekly schedule, Library residents may devote four hours per week to professional activities, research and writing projects, or relevant classes (additional time for these activities may be negotiated).
  3. Residents often benefit from travel and professional development opportunities, and the Library encourages residents to attend professional meetings and relevant workshops, and supports travel via a process that parallels Library support for tenure-track faculty.
  4. The Assistant Dean for Collection Development serves as coordinator of the Residency Program at Auburn, and as the residents administrative contact and supervisor during the introductory stage of the residency. The appropriate department head will serve as the residents supervisor when they move into a specific department.
  5. The expertise and experience of Auburn's library faculty and professional staff is available to residents in the form of mentoring or other guidance.
  6. Librarians and staff at Auburn assist and advise residents as they seek positions in professional librarianship. Residents are also informed about tenure track Librarian positions that become available at Auburn during their residency. (When a resident is appointed to a tenure track position at Auburn, the question of whether to apply time spent as a resident is determined according to university policy.)

The Library solicits from each resident an assessment of the effectiveness of the residency program and suggestions about methods to improve that program. Candidates interested in the residency program may be referred to former residents to receive first-hand information about the program.

Last updated: 11/08/2018