The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has entered into a partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) in support of internships for ARL's flagship diversity recruitment program, the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW). Practical field experience is uniformly seen as one of the most valuable components of ARL's other diversity recruitment programs and is an absolute necessity for graduates attempting to enter a competitive job market.
The ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW), funded by ARL member libraries, was established in 2000 as a member response to the low representation of racial and ethnic minorities in the workforce among member institutions. The purpose of this program is to attract students from historically underrepresented groups to careers in academic and research libraries and archives. The IRDW accomplishes this through generous funding for master of library and information science (MLIS) education and a suite of related benefits, including mentoring, leadership and professional development, and career placement assistance.
Since 2000 almost 200 diverse students have been supported through this recruitment program with retention rates within the LIS profession at well over 90%. More than half of all ARL IRDW diversity scholars are currently employed in ARL member libraries and archives. ARL diversity scholars are assuming significant roles and leadership positions within the profession in the US and Canada.
EBSCO's financial support of four internships will enable these individuals to gain experience in an academic library setting, which will complement the other components of the IRDW program.
EBSCO's senior vice president, Scott Bernier, says supporting the IRDW interns is a way to support both libraries and future librarians. "The internship program makes an important connection between respected research libraries and MLIS candidates," says Bernier. "The IRDW is helping ARL member libraries train the next generation of librarians and is giving these MLIS students an important boost as they gain experience from top institutions. We are proud to be behind a program that creates opportunities for new librarians while promoting a more diverse library workforce."
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL's 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 ARL.org.
About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 11,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals and books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,000,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.