Reaching Out to Minority Librarians: Overcoming Diversity Challenges through Mentorship

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



mentorship, minority librarians


Increasing and supporting diversity within the workforce is by no means a new issue within libraries. Diversity awareness in librarianship can be traced back to the 1930s.1 A casual search for ‘diversity efforts’ reveals scholarship going back to the 70s and 80s outlining proactive recruitment and retention efforts. Literature shows that a diverse workforce provides libraries with a broad range of strengths.2–5 Mentoring programs are well-known among administrative professionals for their benefits.6–9 Outside of librarianship, diversity and mentoring efforts have been studied in the corporate and nonprofit sectors which have yielded a great amount of scholarship on the successful elements of diversity and mentoring programs. Library science has considered and integrated many diversity-related best practices of the business and human resources world, however, there is little research tying these best practices back to mentoring relationships. There have been very few previous studies that have extracted quantifiable data on mentoring relationships between minority librarians and their mentors. Field research would greatly complement the vast amount of prescriptive and case-study literature on the benefits of mentoring relationships to allow for the further development of mentoring programs and retention efforts.


Preconference paper for American Library Association

Publisher Attribution

Iuliano, A., Royster M., Johnson, M., Larrivee, A.M., & Driver, L. (2013). Reaching out to minority librarians: Overcoming diversity challenges through mentorship. Contributed paper acceptance at the Association of College and Research Libraries Conference, Indianapolis, IN. [National Conference Paper]

Reaching out.pdf (1499 kB)