Friday, November 19, 2004

Growing a Diverse Workforce in the Library and Information Science Professions. ERIC Digest. This is an article which has some ideas oh how the library profession can find a way to become more diverse. It is by Kate Lippincott and it was published as an ERIC Digest in 1997.

From the site:

The 1997 report, Planning for a Diverse Workforce in Library and Information Science Professions by Kathleen de la Pena McCook and Kate Lippincott, and their accompanying article "Library Schools and Diversity: Who Makes the Grade?," examine statistical data on the number of minority graduates that accredited graduate library and information science programs add to the professional workforce. The source of their statistical information is the Library and Information Science Education Statistical Report published by the Association for Library and Information Science Education. ALISE compiles statistics from ALA accredited library and information science programs. The published ALISE data was reorganized to analyze minority graduation rates. The number of minority graduates increased in the decade from 1984-85 to 1994-95. The 1994-95 minority graduation total (419) and the percent of minorities entering the profession are up from 1984-85. Though this growth rate seems encouraging, it still reflects a small percentage of the total graduates for those years, 6.79 percent minority graduation in 1984-85 and 10.01 percent minority graduation in 1994-95.

The greatest gains were made by Asian/Pacific Islanders. They represent 3.5 percent of the population and 3.44 percent of 1995 graduates-near parity. Hispanic graduation rates increased to 2.17 percent; African Americans moved up slightly to 4.24 percent of all graduates. Native Americans saw a decline to only .16 percent of the total. These gains, however, are undercut by the shift in the U.S. population as a whole. During the same ten-year period, the minority population of the U.S. grew from 22.2 percent to 26.4 percent. The Library and Information Science (LIS) profession's gain is not enough to bring minority representation in the profession to a parity level for individual minority groups. In 1994-95, minorities comprised 26.4 percent of the U.S. population, but only 10.01 percent of new LIS graduates. A 162 percent increase is needed to achieve true diversity.

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