On Friday, October 14th, I attended the North Carolina Library Association’s Round-table for Minority and Ethnic Concerns workshop entitled “Recruiting Underrepresented Populations to the Library Profession – Next Steps. Held at Elon University, the workshop featured thought provoking conversations around recruitment with Library School students, recent Library professionals, Human Resource Librarians and Library Directors.
Linwood Webster, Academic Advisor at UNC Chapel Hill, was the opening keynoter. He encouraged Librarians to take seriously the commitment of recruitment and development. He stressed the value of internships and encouraged Librarians to say yes when asked. Webster also asked attendees to look within. What skills do you have and how can you contribute to the profession? What is the change you want to see? What will you do to stop the digital divide?
I moderated a panel which consisted of two recent professionals and two current LIS students. They addressed issues around selecting the appropriate school, balancing school and work. When asked about what they wished they learned more about in Library School, their answers were eye-opening. More teacher preparation, more focused all around information as it relates to all library services, more in-depth reference work and more information on trends in hiring.
The afternoon session featured conversations with Dr. Ishamel Abdullahi, NCCU; Laura Blessing, NC State; Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, Forsyth County Public Library and Brenda Linares, UNC CH. The panelist each shared their personal journey to Librarianship as well as addressing current hiring practices within the Library Science profession.
Author: Wanda Brown