The School of Library and Information Sciences at historically Black North Carolina Central University and the Princeton University Library are partnering in an effort to increase the diversity of library professionals. Only 7 percent of library professionals in the United States are Black.
Under the new initiative, students who earn a master’s degree in information science or library science at North Carolina Central University will be eligible for the Early Career Fellowship Program at the Princeton University Library. With the fellowship program, Princeton University Library will help to increase minority representation to further assist with developing a more diverse field of top-quality professionals including graduates of historically Black colleges and universities.
The program will offer a total of eight, two-year long positions over the next four years. The first two fellows will begin in summer 2022. The fellows will receive industry-ready training to position them for careers in library and information science. Individuals will also be paired with professionals to receive hands-on training and professional mentorship.
Jon Gant, dean of the NCCU School of Library and Information Sciences, stated that “participants will gain extensive knowledge including the core components of the library experience coupled with technical experience working with teams that manage the digital infrastructure and advanced cataloging systems of one of the nation’s top libraries.”
“This partnership with NCCU is an investment in improving equity and inclusion in the library science profession,” added Jon Stroop, deputy university librarian for the Princeton University Library. “As library practices and technologies are updated to better reflect the wealth of perspectives in our collections and services, recognizing the valuable contributions of HBCUs as organizations of cultural preservation and activism is vital. These cohorts of HBCU graduates will bring relevant and critical perceptions and perspectives to Princeton University Library as we do our part to help them launch their careers.”