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ARL Awarded IMLS Grant to Establish Diversity Fellowship for Undergraduates Focused on Digital Stewardship

Illuminated manuscript map from 17th-century Book on Navigation, image CC0 by Walters Art Museum

The research library and archives workforce currently does not reflect the demographics of higher education and society. To diversify the workforce and create more inclusive, equitable, and just library and archives organizations, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is implementing the ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence, with the support of a three-year $518,507 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The ARL Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence will provide one-year paid internships in libraries and archives to 30 undergraduate students from historically underrepresented ethnic and racial groups. The internships will focus on digital stewardship—the care and management of digital information resources over their life cycle, including creation, collection, preservation, access, and use.

This national program will also provide many opportunities for the fellows to explore various careers in libraries and archives, as well as training in diversity, equity, and social justice topics. Students will benefit from mentorship and from leadership development in addition to their one-year internships, paving the way for successful careers for the individual fellows and a more diverse workforce for the library and archives fields.

Damon Jaggars, vice provost and director of university libraries at The Ohio State University and a member of the ARL Diversity and Inclusion Committee, said, “The Association of Research Libraries is honored to receive this award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Where ARL historically has focused its diversity recruitment efforts on those in the library and information science (LIS) education pipeline, this project will reach students earlier in their educational careers, encouraging them to consider potential roles in the LIS workforce. The focus on digital stewardship and curation may provide greater opportunity for the recruitment of these fellows into the profession.”

The first round of fellowships will be awarded for the 2017–2018 academic year through a competitive application process. The Association will issue a call for applications this summer. Stay tuned to the ARL website, follow ARL on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to ARL e-mail announcements or news for updates on this program.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 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 the Institute of Museum and Library Services 

imls-logoThe Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.