CULTURALLY DIVERSE undergraduate students to the field
of librarianship is the goal of an Oberlin College program that
received a $139,732 grant this summer from the federal Institute
of Museum and Library Services.
Oberlin students will be recruited annually for one-year internships
to begin the spring of their junior year and continue through
the next fall. The paid, part-time training will include discussions
and presentations related to librarianship, observation and hands-on
experience with basic library operations, and field trips to other
types of libraries. Beginning in the second year of the project,
students will complete off-campus Winter Term projects with Oberlin
alumni librarians. A full-time graduate intern will also be chosen
annually to help coordinate the undergraduate program, as well
as work to enhance library services for minority students.
College Library Director Ray English says that as the demographics
of the United States become more culturally and racially diverse,
libraries will need to recruit increasingly diverse professional
staffs. "This program can significantly increase the number of
students from diverse backgrounds who pursue graduate work in
the field," he says.