ACRL Membership Funding for BIPOC Library Workers

During these unprecedented times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, heightened social awareness of systemic racism, oppression, and institutional violence, and economic recession– all of which disproportionately impact communities of color– the ACRL Board of Directors has approved funding for one year of ALA and ACRL membership for up to 25 library workers who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This membership amounts to an annual savings ranging from $123 to $219 per membership for the recipient.

Funding for the BIPOC memberships will be provided for one year (July, 2022-June, 2023). The ACRL EDI Committee will request an additional year of funding from the ACRL Board for recipients interested in continuing for a second year. This two-year funding cycle will allow for:

  • Specific focus areas for each year:
    • In 2022/2023: focus on orientation to ACRL
    • In 2023/2024: focus on participation (committee service/leadership, presentations, & etc.)
  • Alignment with the ACRL 2023 Conference schedule, enabling Cohort members to possibly present at the ACRL 2023 Conference which coincides with the second year of membership, (should they be so motivated)
  • Mentorship and support for submitting conference presentation proposals
  • New recipients may assist with recruitment of the next year’s group of recipients for BIPOC membership

ACRL has a core commitment to “acknowledge and address historical racial inequities; challenge oppressive systems within academic libraries; value different ways of knowing; and identify and work to eliminate barriers to equitable services, spaces, resources, and scholarship.”[1] Funding these memberships is one element of this commitment. Like the 2020 Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Relief Renewals for BIPOC Members, this ACRL membership funding “increas[es] the intentional retention of a diverse membership, while reducing barriers to participation.”[2]

Note: This membership funding is available to library workers who do not have an MLS/MLIS as well as those who do. Both are encouraged to apply.


  • Applicant must be a library worker who identifies as Black, Indigenous, and/or as a Person of Color.

Criteria for Consideration

If we receive more applications than the memberships for which we have funding, we will prioritize applications from library workers who:

  • experienced household job loss, income loss, or furlough during the pandemic
  • are early-career library workers (having less than 5 years of experience): applicants may decide what this means for you
  • currently serve, have served, or will be serving underrepresented populations at academic, college, or research libraries or institutions, including  junior, community, or technical colleges; vocational institutions; rural institutions; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs); Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), and etc.
  • are new to ACRL
  • provide specific information about their plans for participation in ACRL, which may include applicant’s area of interest and plans for engagement


The ACRL Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee will be reviewing applications. To apply, please submit this application by May 1, 2022. Awardees will be notified by June 1, 2022, and the free membership will begin on July 1, 2022. If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact EDI Committee Immediate Past Chair Mary Beth Lock at


[1] American Library Association. (November 2019). ACRL Plan for Excellence. Retrieved December 9, 2020, from

[2] Association for Library Service to Children. (2020). ALSC Relief Renewals for BIPOC Members. Retrieved December 9, 2020, from