Diversity within libraries

In my previous post, I discussed a film we had seen regarding librarianship as a profession in 1947. In that post I briefly mentioned the lack of diversity within the information professional workforce.  While writing that entry I came across this blog by Mr. Library Dude. He discusses the lack of diversity found within the workforce in America.  I wanted to see if this may also be true in Canada.

 

Lily white or Lego yellow? [screen shot from Lego website]

White or Lego yellow?

(http://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/why-are-all-your-lego-librarians-white/)

While researching I came across this article  by Mary Kandiuk, that highlights this issue of lack of diversity within the Canadian Academic Libraries as well. Specifically they mention that only 7% of academic librarians are visible minorities.

Both these articles lead to some interesting question posed by the authors regarding LIS as a profession.  Is there not enough recruitment of people that are ethnically diverse? Why does librarianship not attract as many minorities? Is there a lack of promoting and mentorship?

This issue is one of concern. When considering recruitment of a professional workforce it is important that it is reflective of the community it serves. By having librarians that speak the languages that are prominent in their community; by knowing what the needs (programs, services, collection) of that minority group within their community are and how to meet them; libraries may in turn be better able to serve their community.

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