Bridge Building, Intersectionality and Inclusion
The United States Census Bureau concluded that by 2060 our population will be “more racially and ethnically diverse” (Census Bureau, 2012). In view of this fact, and in order to maintain relevancy, academic libraries have been actively increasing their workforce via incorporating diversity initiatives into their mission statements and recruiting efforts. Leaders in the field of librarianship understand the current situation and see the urgent need for recruitment efforts, to increase diversity in the profession.
The Diversity Immersion Institute was designed with the idea that it would serve as a center, which would be the cornerstone for diversity work at the University of Maryland Libraries. This initiative will train future librarians in critical aspects of diversity and inclusion, and introduce students of color to the field of librarianship. Integral to the program’s success is the development of a robust partnership between university departments, and underrepresented groups in our communities.
The Diversity Immersion Institute provides graduate students from the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, the opportunity to explore diversity and inclusion, specifically regarding the field of librarianship. The program is divided into two parts. The first part of the program aims to expose graduate students to multiple perspectives and to encourage students to become advocates of inclusion in their professional careers. During the second half of the program middle and high school students, from the Life Pieces to Masterpieces apprentice program, come to the University of Maryland College Park for an immersive three day college experience. In addition to participating in classes led by University of Maryland professors, the apprentices learn about potential careers in the field of information science. The presenters will discuss how they successfully created the Diversity Immersion Institute and share their experiences as co-directors of the institute including best practices and lessons learned.
U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office. (2012). U.S. Census Bureau Projections Show a Slower Growing, Older, More Diverse National a Half Century from Now. Retrieved from, https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-243.html