The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has appointed Kiyomi Deards of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln as a visiting program officer for diversity and leadership, effective February 1, 2019. Deards will support the Association’s diversity, equity, and inclusion portfolio in advancing access to economic and social prosperity, encouraging full participation in society, and countering the historical lack of access to and underrepresentation of human and material resources that research libraries cultivate and steward.
As a visiting program officer, Deards will conduct research and produce several resources for ARL member libraries and archives to use in strengthening their efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her areas of research will include (1) frameworks for diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies in libraries, archives, other cultural heritage and information organizations, and higher education; (2) training, community building, and development programs that address diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies; and (3) funding sources for developing a cohort of expert facilitators to help ARL institutions create and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion plans.
Beth McNeil, chair of the ARL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and dean of the University Library at Iowa State University, said, “We are pleased to have Kiyomi working with the Association to advance some of the key priorities in our diversity, equity, and inclusion portfolio. Her work will help inform what strategies and programs we need to implement and sustain in order to make more substantive and enduring change in this area. It is particularly gratifying to have someone who has benefited from participating in ARL’s diversity recruitment programs giving back to the Association and to the profession.”
Deards is an associate professor, and librarian for chemistry, biochemistry, forensic science, physics & astronomy, and water, at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) University Libraries. She has worked with, and led, programs focused on mentoring and career support for historically underrepresented groups in libraries since 2009. Most recently, she chaired the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Committee. At UNL Deards leads the SciPop science and pop-culture outreach program. She writes and presents about issues of management equity and mentoring in libraries, science literacy, and informal science education. In 2009–2011, she was an ARL Diversity Scholar in the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce.
The ARL Visiting Program Officer program provides opportunities for outstanding staff members at ARL member libraries and archives to contribute to special projects and programs, either in whole or in part, in order to advance the agenda of the Association. Visit the ARL website for more information about the Visiting Program Officer program.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.