Libraries’ Proposal to Encourage Diversity in the Library Profession Awarded an Equity & Inclusion Incentive Grant

regina bourne
Regina Bourne (center), Library Human Resources and Organizational Development Director, is presented with the grant award. UC/ Joseph Fuqua II

The University of Cincinnati Libraries were awarded an Equity & Inclusion Incentive Grant for the proposal “Exploring the Diverse Career Paths within Libraries,” which aims to introduce and educate minority high school students to the academic library profession for the purpose of attracting them into the profession.

Submitted by UC Libraries, in collaboration with Cincinnati Public Schools, University of Cincinnati Admissions, and partners within the library, the grant will support the creation of two half-day programs for up to 60 college-bound high school minority students from local area schools. Throughout the course of the day, the students will: take a tour of the library; meet faculty and staff with a range of skills and educational backgrounds; engage in learning activities related to library professions; learn about the experiences of student workers currently employed by the library; and gain an understanding of the multitude of career options the library has to offer.

This outreach initiative will address the current trend of retiring librarians, introduce students to diverse disciplines and cultivate interest in the library profession among the visiting students. It will also show how IT skills can be used in the library profession and educate the student visitors about library student worker jobs. Student visitors will be given flash drives uploaded with additional information about libraries to continue to engage them after the day is over.

UC Libraries’ faculty, staff and student workers who help to facilitate the program will gain valuable experience and professional development in diversity and inclusion.

The university’s Equity & Inclusion Incentive Grant program seeks to support collaborative efforts between colleges and units to enhance diversity and inclusion through innovative practices that align with the goals and objectives in the Diversity Plan.