NYLA Alternative Pathways to Librarianship Task Force
Call for Participation – Research Working Groups
The Alternative Pathways to Librarianship Task Force of the New York Library Association is recruiting volunteers who are interested in contributing to our collaborative research on creating an equitable, straightforward path to librarianship for all people.
Our five research working group teams will be Academic and Special Libraries; Library Partners (Friends, Trustees, LIS Educators, etc.,); Public Libraries; Research; School Libraries. Members of the Task Force will lead each research working group. The goal of these research groups is to gather data to help answer the following questions:
• What are people’s current experience of pathways into and within the library profession in New York?
• What are the challenges or barriers people face along their pathways to and within the library profession in New York?
• How, if at all, do those challenges vary among library types and settings?
Interested volunteers should fill out this interest form no later than June 6th: INTEREST FORM
Our introductory meeting will take place during the week of June 14th.
The NYLA Pathways to Librarianship Task Force
The mission of the Alternative Pathways to Librarianship Task Force is to create a more diverse and equitable professional community through a lens of institutional and systemic change.
The task force will prepare three items for the consideration of NYLA Council:
1. The development of a Statement of Principles that emphasizes creating sustainable practices that allow historically discriminated groups to more easily join the profession.
2. The development of a white paper that advocates for systemic reforms in alignment with the Statement of Principles.
3. The creation of a framework to model how systemic inequities can be addressed.
Timeline and Renewal
The task force will submit these items to NYLA Council before December 31st, 2021. This charge is seen as the first phase of work that will address long-term solutions to institutional and systemic barriers to participation in librarianship within New York State, and as such, the task force can be renewed with the approval of NYLA Council.
Task Force Appointed
We are grateful to the dozens of individuals who voiced interest in participating on the task force, and will work to actively to continue to engage the community.
Here is the roster of those appointed to the task force:
Arianna Ackerman, Central Library of Rochester
Michelle Beechey, Monroe Community College
Rachel Ivy Clarke, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
S. Michele Echols, St. John Fisher College
Ken Fujiuchi, Buffalo State College
Tim Furgal, Fayetteville Public Library
Lisa Gill, Highland Public Library
Rajene Hardeman, MHLS trustee
Melissa Jacobs, NYC School Library System
Jade Jacobs, Rockville Centre School District
Patricia "Petra" Magno
Anthony Martinez, Tompkins County Public Library
Jesse O'Reilly, University at Buffalo & Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
Marie Pierre, Ossining Public Library
Mary Rano, Baldwin Public Library
Kaysha Watson-Phillips, Baldwin Public Library
Lori Wienke, Milne Library/SUNY Oneonta
Appointment Rubric (PDF)
Call for Participation
The New York Library Association is recruiting individuals who are interested in creating a more diverse professional community through a lens of institutional and systemic change to join a task force exploring alternative pathways leading to the attainment of a graduate degree in library science.
This task force will be our first attempt at realizing an equitable, straightforward path towards librarianship for all people. This first charge of the task force will be to work towards the development of a Statement of Principles on the topic of Alternative Pathways to Librarianship. Particular emphasis will be placed on creating sustainable practices that allow historically discriminated groups to more easily enroll in library and information science graduate programs, attain graduate degrees in librarianship, retain employment in their chosen field, and advance through the profession. These Principles will be used to create a white paper advocating for systemic reforms and the subsequent creation of a new framework to address inequities.
The composition of the multi-sector task force will seek to be as inclusive as possible -- we are looking for geographic diversity among a broad pool of non-degreed clerks and paraprofessionals working in libraries, library deans and directors, and librarians across all disciplines and specializations. A Master’s degree in library or information science is not necessary for consideration. A current membership in the New York Library Association is not required.
We acknowledge that major systemic inequities exist that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People-of-Color from entering, thriving, and being retained in the profession. These people are choosing success outside of libraries and are some of the most educated people in the country when compared to their peer groups – the problems are with the profession of librarianship. This has created negative, unsustainable practices for the health and growth of the profession. The New York Library Association would like to recognize our historical shortcomings and failures as an organization to enact meaningful reform on this issue through policy or advocacy.
Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Download a PDF of the chat here.
Links referenced during the Town Hall
The New York Library Association is now accepting applications for their Pathways To Librarianship Task Force. Members of the task force will be appointed to 1-year terms and asked to spend 8-10 hours per month working towards the creation of three deliverables: a Statement of Principles on the topic of Alternative Pathways To Librarianship, a white paper advocating for systemic reforms, and a framework to address inequities.
The Pathways To Librarianship Task Force is committed to diversity and encourages participation from groups that have been historically marginalized. A Master’s degree in library and information science is not required for consideration and people of all educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Please complete the application form no later than Monday, December 21st to be considered for appointment.