The Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance have received $497,000 from the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to increase the diversity of the library profession.  In this 3-year project, the two partner organizations will recruit, mentor, and deliver an online Master of Library and Information Science degree to 10 students from underrepresented groups in order to achieve greater diversity among practicing library professionals. The School will provide the education and the library alliance will assist with recruitment and retention through mentorship of the selected students by HBCU librarians.

Recruitment efforts will be extended particularly to undergraduates currently attending HBCU institutions and library paraprofessionals currently employed by HBCU libraries. The major goals of this project are to recruit additional underrepresented students to the library profession; provide graduate library science educational opportunities to promising bachelor’s degree holders and library paraprofessionals from underrepresented groups; and test the efficacy of a distributed online degree program, supported by on-site mentors, to retain students from underrepresented groups through degree completion and employment as professional librarians.

Stephen T. Bajjaly
Associate Dean and Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Wayne State University