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ARL/Music Library Association Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Call for Applications

piano strings
image © Kevin Dooley

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is now accepting applications for the ARL/Music Library Association (MLA) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (DII). This scholarship program, funded in large part by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), has recently received an extension to provide support for a fourth and final cohort of students. This program offers minority candidates an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) while gaining valuable, practical experience in a major music or performing arts library. The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities within music librarianship by providing support for master’s-level LIS education and the practical experience critical for successful entrance into the profession.

Program Benefits

The ARL/MLA DII fellowship offers a generous compensation package for each program participant consisting of:

  • Tuition stipend of up to $10,000. 
  • Paid internship in a partner music/performing arts library for a period not to exceed one calendar year. Internship sites at partner libraries will be determined by the applicant pool and by the capacity of potential partners to develop and manage the internships.
  • Financial assistance of up to $1,000 for relocation to the area of the MLIS program into which the participant has been accepted.
  • Paid student membership in MLA for one year.
  • Support for travel to and attendance at an MLA Annual Meeting.
  • Support for travel to and attendance at the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium, held during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting.

In addition to financial support, the ARL/MLA DII fellowship will provide each program participant with:

  • Mentoring by a library/information professional employed in the partner library. (Mentors will participate in formal training provided by ARL consultants.)
  • The opportunity to network during special programs of the MLA Annual Meeting with first-time MLA attendees and MLA officers and luminaries.
  • Career placement guidance and assistance provided by the MLA placement officer, programs at the MLA Annual Meeting and ARL Leadership Symposium, and other career resources and services available through the MLA and ARL websites.


Students who have an academic background in a music-related subject discipline and have applied to or are enrolled in an MLIS program with a concentration, certificate, or courses in music or performing arts librarianship are eligible to apply for the ARL/MLA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

Eligible applicants for the ARL/MLA DII also must be a member of a racial/ethnic minority group as described by the US Census Bureau or Statistics Canada.

More Information & Applications

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For additional information about the program and for a link to the application form, visit the ARL/MLA DII website.

funding-provided-by-arl-mla-imlsThe Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 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 http://www.arl.org/.

Founded in 1931, the Music Library Association (MLA) is the professional organization in the United States devoted to music librarianship and all aspects of music materials in libraries. MLA provides a professional forum for librarians, archivists, and others who support and preserve the world’s musical heritage. Additional information about MLA can be found at http://musiclibraryassoc.org/.