Survey of Librarians of Color

To All Librarians of Color:

Myself (Kawanna Bright) and two of my colleagues, Deborah Lilton with Vanderbilt University and Pambanisha King with Auburn University, will be presenting a session at the National Diversity in Libraries Conference in October 2008, entitled “When Diversity is Too Much: New Librarians of Color and Expectations for Involvement in Library Diversity Initiatives”. The focus of this program will be to discuss diversity initiatives utilized to recruit and retain librarians of color into academic libraries and how they can sometimes have a negative impact on the librarians they are designed to support. As part of this session we will be presenting information from published research, but the main focus of this session will be to present the results of a survey of librarians of color and their opinions on how these programs impacted them.

This is where you come in! If you are a librarian of color who works in an academic library (or has ever worked in an academic library during your career) we need you to complete our survey. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts on the different diversity initiatives that have been a part of your career, whether it was a recruitment scholarship to help you earn your degree, a residency program to launch you into the field, a leadership institute to prepare you for upward movement, or programs that happened internally in the libraries that you worked in, including diversity committees, diversity training programs, or cultural enrichment programs. We would also be interested in hearing about other experiences that affected you specifically as a new librarian of color.

The goal of this survey is not to collect information to “bash” these programs. The researchers agree that on the whole these programs are positive for the librarians who participate in them as well as the libraries that host them and the field itself. However, the possible negative impacts of these programs need to be discussed as well in order to help programs improve and to better prepare new librarians of color for careers in academic librarianship.

This survey is completely anonymous — no identifying information will be collected. We will not be collecting information on specific programs, and are asking participants to respond with generalities (the survey instrument reflects this request to not include identifying information).

The survey is available at: and takes between 15 and 25 minutes to complete, depending on the number of experiences that you have had.

Your participation is greatly appreciated. Please also feel free to share the survey with colleagues that you feel would be interested in participating. All questions concerning the survey, the presentation or the project as a whole can be directed to Kawanna Bright,; Pambanisha King, ; or Deborah Lilton, .


Kawanna Bright, Pambanisha King, and Deborah Lilton

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