HAMPTON, Va. (Aug. 3, 2020) — Hampton University’s William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library has been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program. The award in the amount of $249,955 will fund a three year project grant entitled Leading the Charge: Advancing the Recruitment, Retention and Inclusion of People of Color within the Library and Information Science Field.
“Hampton University is honored to continue our partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “I know the work done by Ms. Tina Rollins and her staff will be in line with our university’s efforts to continue to evolve, make new strides in research, and to be at the forefront of innovation and impact.Thank you to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for this grant, demonstrating their continued investment in the future diversity of libraries and their staff."
With this grant, the Harvey Library will seek to enhance the capacity of other libraries in developing and implementing practices and initiatives that change, evolve, and improve the equity, diversity and inclusion of people of color (POC) working within the field. Project participants will be library administrators, managers and HR professionals. They will develop a plan to implement and assess an EDI initiative within their home organization which addresses the recruitment, retention, and inclusion of POC within their libraries. Participants will be paired with an EDI Initiative Consultant who will assist in guiding them in all stages of the project. The project results will serve as a collection of actionable initiatives and research that can be shared across the field. The project will include an initial meeting, subsequent virtual meetings, individual site visits, assessment and a follow-up meeting to discuss participant initiatives and experiences.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the library to continue the work of advancing diversity within the LIS field,” said Harvey Library Director, Tina Rollins. “The grant is especially timely in the current social climate’s call for equality and diversity within our nation. As libraries, whether academic, public or special, we must ensure that our workplaces represent the diversity of the patrons we serve. With this funding, we will be able to help others answer the call to turn ‘talk’ into action. In doing so, we will help to create EDI initiatives which can serve as models for other organizations.”
This grant builds upon the success of a 2017 IMLS National Forum grant awarded to the library. The Hampton University National Forum on Minority Recruitment and Retention in the LIS Field was held in 2018 to discuss concerns regarding the experiences of people of color within LIS. The event convened librarians, leaders and experts in library science, diversity and leadership to address the continued issues of recruitment and retention of POC in the field.
"As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities."