ALA Recruitment Assembly Notes

January 22, 2007

ALA Annual Conference – Seattle, WA


 Julie Brewer, Chair, ALA Recruitment Assembly (University of Delaware)
 Toni Anaya, REFORMA Recruitment Committee (University of Arizona)
 Beatrice Calvin, Program Officer, ALA HRDR
 Stephanie Clark, Senior Library Program Officer, IMLS
 Linda Colding, University of Central Florida
 Denise Davis, Simmons College GSLIS
 Kathleen DeLong, ACRL (University of Alberta Libraries)
 Asher Jackson, University of Delaware
 Olivia Madison, HRDR Advisory Committee (Iowa State University)
 Larry Neal, PLA Recruitment Committee (Clinton-Macomb Public Library)
 Connie Paul, ASCLA (Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative)
 Shannon Peterson, YALSA (Kitsap Regional Library)
 Allison Sutton, ALA Spectrum Committee (Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
 Lorelle Swader, Director, HRDR Office
 Manuel Urrizola, ALCTS (UC Irvine)
 Carolyn Wood, ALA Emerging Leader Program (West Deptford Free Public Library)


 Denise M. Davis, Director, ALA Office for Research and Statistics
 Nancy Davenport, Chair, ALA-DC Local Arrangements Committee and candidate for ALA President
 Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect

Reports on Recruitment Initiatives

 Manuel Urrizola reported that ALCTS, with funding from SAGE, will support 6 library support staff who work in technical services to attend the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.    Each attendee will be paired with a conference mentor.    Manuel also noted that UC Irvine Library continues to work closely with the campus career center and has its own career recruitment brochure.

 Larry Neal reported on the PLA “Grow Your Own” grant program.

 Allison Sutton reported that she is working on an ALA Diversity Grant to send current and former Spectrum Scholars to junior and senior high schools in cities hosting ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences to support literacy and career recruitment initiatives.

  Kathleen DeLong reported on the recent Training Gaps Analysis: Librarians and Library Technicians a companion publication to the 8Rs The Future of Human Resources in Canadian Libraries available   CLA is also planning a national library workforce summit.   She expressed frustration with inability of data to map the recruitment needs of individual libraries or regions with the availability of new graduates and librarians looking for work.

 Kathleen DeLong also reported on the Canadian Library Association’s career recruitment website called InfoNation at    Take a look!

 Connie Paul reported on the New Jersey Urban Libraries IMLS grant that assists participants complete undergraduate and graduate degrees and become librarians in urban libraries.

Carolyn Wood reported on the work of the ALA Emerging Leaders team which is    working on a marketing plan for the website.    Other members of the team include Alexia Hudson, Robin Rousu, Qiana Johnson and Regina Cortez.    Larry Neal serves as mentor to the group.   Carolyn will send information to the RA listserv about the marketing plan and the team’s presentation scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2006 at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.   The EL team has a project wiki at

ALA website re-development plan

 Concerns were expressed about plans for the display and access to library career recruitment information on the new ALA website.    Larry and Julie will draft a communication summarizing the Recruitment Assembly’s interests in the future of and the Library Career Recruitment Clearinghouse in relation to the ALA website.    They will send the communication to the ALA website review committee via Olivia Madison who is on the committee.

ALA Library Career Recruitment Clearinghouse

 The Recruitment Assembly agreed to migrate the ALA Library Career Recruitment Clearinghouse currently residing as a webpage at to an ALA wiki.    The wiki format will enhance the flexibility, interactivity, and currency of the information making it a more useful resource for recruiters.   Julie will work with Connie Paul and Lorelle Swader to migrate the content.   Once the new wiki is in place Julie will contact IMLS to encourage links to the Laura Bush 21 st Century recruitment grants as well as LSTA block grants (such as Become a

ALA recruitment video

 Connie Paul reported that another team of ALA Emerging Leaders, a separate group from that working on mentioned above, is working with her to develop the content and script for a short, fast-paced recruitment video.    The video will be linked from and other appropriate web locations.    It will be posted to   Copies will also be available on DVD for large screen presentations.  

HRDR Report

 Lorelle Swader, Director, ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, reported on recent library career recruitment initiatives in the HRDR Office.

1. Lorelle and Beatrice Calvin did a presentation on library careers at the National Career Development Association Annual Conference in July.    They introduced to high school and college career counselors.   The bookmarks were a big hit.  

2. The ad about library careers that ran in a past issue of Colleges and Careers, a publication targeting high school students and parents, continues to bring in inquiries to the HRDR office.

3. Lorelle has drafted an article about library careers for a forthcoming issue of the Chicago Chapter publication of the Allied Association of Organization Executives.   She will distribute copies once it is published.  

4. The Office continues to participate in career fairs and distribute literature about library careers.  

5. Beatrice will be attending an upcoming Careers Across America conference.

 Lorelle suggested that the RA consider hosting a display table at the ALISE Annual Conference to communicate information about the Assembly and increase collaborative efforts.

Diversity Counts Report

 Denise Davis, Director, ALA Office for Research and Statistics reported on the recent study entitled Diversity Counts.    She noted that the library profession can expect to lose 70% of the workforce in the next 6 years due to retirements.    However, these departures may not directly translate into employment opportunities for new MLS graduates.   The lack of part-time employment opportunities can be an issue in such a female-dominated profession.   Retirees moving into part-time employment and union environments can further reduce availability entry-level employment opportunities.   The report also raises concerns that early career librarians are not entering traditional library positions or are leaving the profession after a short period.   Denise noted that the ethnic/racial demographics of library workers did not change significantly during the period studied, although data since the start of the Spectrum program is not yet available.

 Denise also referred to the Future of the Librarian in the Workforce study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science and funded by IMLS.    Its hoped the data from this study will provide a fuller picture of national library employment trends.    The study has completed its survey of special libraries and is presently working on a public library survey.   A survey of academic libraries will be next.

Report from ALA President-Elect

 Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect, distributed a handout describing the missions and charges of her presidential task forces.    Several of the task force initiatives relate to recruitment including plans for a National Library Camp, development of a searchable database and other opportunities for LIS students to share their experiences in practicum / fieldwork / capstone projects, and an oral history program of retired/retiring librarians.

Report from ALA Presidential Candidate

 Nancy Davenport described three recruitment initiatives in her platform as candidate for ALA President.    First, she proposes that ALA host semi-annual recruitment fairs at a local library in the host city of each ALA conference.    Individuals who participate in the recruitment fair would have the opportunity to visit the ALA exhibits.   As chair of the DC Local Arrangement Committee she already has plans to experiment with this plan.   Second, she proposes increasing travel grants for new librarians to attend ALA conferences.   And third, she proposes the ALA offer short courses for library support staff at ALA conferences to provide more content and reason for support staff to attend conferences.

ACRL Poster Session

 Julie Brewer and Asher Jackson will present “Reaching Out: Strategies and Resources for Library Career Recruitment” at the ACRL National Conference in Baltimore this spring.    They will re-use many of the materials presented at the ALA poster session last summer at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.    Anyone who plans to attend the ACRL conference and wants to assist with the presentation is very welcome.   Please contact either Julie or Asher at the University of Delaware.

Next Meeting

 Monday, June 25, 2007 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Prepared by Julie Brewer