ALA Recruitment Assembly Notes

ALA Midwinter Meeting
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA
Monday, January 14, 2008


Denise Davis, Chair, ALA Recruitment Assembly (Simmons College GSLIS)

Miranda Bennett, ALA Emerging Leaders Program (University of Houston)

Rebecca Blakeley, ALA Emerging Leaders Program (McNeese State University)

Raynna Bowlby, Simmons College GSLIS

Julie Brewer, University of Delaware

Beatrice Calvin, Program Officer, ALA HRDR

Virginia Cole, ACRL WESS (Cornell University)

Deborah Costa, UCLA

Kathleen DeLong, ACRL (University of Alberta Libraries)

Shannon Jones, Spectrum Advisory Council (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Larry Neal, PLA (Clinton-Macomb Public Library, MI)

John Lehner, ACRL (University of Houston)

Connie Paul, Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative

Lorelle Swader, Director, ALA HRDR Office

Manuel Urrizola, ALCTS (UC Riverside)

Carolyn Wood, West Deptford Free Public Library (NJ)

Reports on Recruitment Initiatives

Lorelle Swader, Director of the HRDR Office, gave an update on the ALA web site redesign project.  (The last redesign was in the spring of 2003.)  All were encouraged to stop by the electronic kiosks located in the Convention Center to take the survey found at  As members of the Recruitment Assembly, Lorelle encouraged us to take the survey with a special focus on the placement of education and recruitment content on the web site.

Lorelle reported that ALA is in the process of hiring a web site usability officer. She hopes the new staff member will take a close look at the information architecture of, to help improve the positioning o within the ALA site.

Lorelle provided a Placement Center update. An electronic survey was sent to members of LAMA's Human Resources Section (HRS) and ACRL's Personnel Administrators discussion group. The next step is to have the HRDR Advisory committee assess the survey results, which include more representation of academic libraries due to the ACRL outreach.

Lorelle mentioned the Future of the Librarian Workforce project to the assembly.  This "is a two-year study sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS) that will identify the nature of anticipated labor shortages in the library and information science (LIS) field over the next decade; assess the number and types of library and information science jobs that will become available in the U.S. either through retirement or new job creation; determine the skills that will be required to fill such vacancies; and recommend effective approaches to recruiting and retaining workers to fill them."  (From the web site:  Preliminary data is expected to be discussed at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Lorelle highlighted the appearance of a feature article ("signature story") in the Association Forum of Chicagoland 's Forum Magazine.  The June 2007 piece by Rachel Crippin Clark focuses on ALA's recruitment efforts and is titled "Signature Story: The Next Chapter." Lorelle, RA members Julie Brewer and Larry Neal are quoted.  The piece provides a snapshot of the RA's efforts, including the development of the site.  Lorelle thanked Julie and Larry for their contributions to the article. Julie Brewer had a copy of the magazine available for members to view. The article can be read online at

Connie Paul distributed copies of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative's latest

recruiting brochures, "The Mystery of the Fulfilling Career" and "Ladies and Gentlemen and

children of all ages!" The inside of the latter can be viewed at the site.

Virginia Cole, on behalf of the Western European Studies Section (WESS, within ACRL)

Recruitment to the Profession Committee, reported the section is working on an initiative to attract undergraduate and graduate students to the profession by highlighting the usefulness of foreign language skills for a career in librarianship.  It was suggested that Virginia post this information to the Recruitment Clearinghouse wiki. Other activities of the WESS recruitment committee include a job shadowing initiative and a survey on Languages and Academic Librarians. The WESS committee /ACRL is also conducting outreach to other learning societies, e.g. MLA, the American Historical Association.

Shannon Jones reported there will be a Professional Options Fair for the Spectrum Scholars on

Thursday, June 26, from 7-9pm during ALA Annual in Anaheim. A sign-up sheet was distributed

and several assembly members signed on to attend, Lorelle suggested Shannon speak with ALA

President-Elect Jim Rettig about the event.  The Spectrum Advisory Council also plans to have an outreach activity during Annual, details forthcoming.

Juli e Brewer reported that ACRL published a white paper in July 2007, which merits a response

from the Recruitment Assembly. Achieving Racial and Ethnic Diversity among Academic and

Research Librarians: The Recruitment. Retention, and Advancement of Librarians of Color (July

2007) was issued by the ACRL Board of Directors Diversity Task Force, and produced by Teresa Y. Neely, Ph.D. and Lorna Peterson, Ph.D. .pdf.  Julie will further review the document and suggest an appropriate response from the assembly.  Lorelle suggested we respond formally; it was moved and seconded.

Manuel Urrizola reported that ALCTS, with funding from SAGE, will support six library support

staff who work in technical services to attend the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. This is the fourth year such funding support has been provided. The membership committee of ALCTS is visiting library schools to promote employment opportunities in public libraries.

Manuel also reported that two of his support staff are editors of ASSOCIATES, a journal committed to library support staff. Manuel distributed bookmarks used to promote the online journal, which can be viewed at http://associates.ucr.eduljournal/.

Emerging Leaders Projects

Connie Paul, member of the Emerging Leaders Program task force, announced the program will go forward in 2009.

2007 Emerging Leaders project, Marketing Plan for

The solid work of the 2007 project team was gratefully acknowledged. Team member, and

current Recruitment Assembly member Carolyn Wood commented that the site continues to be a "go-to" site for those seeking library career information.  Discussion centered on the ways the site can be the most effective within the ALA site structure.  There are usability issues, and it is hoped these can be addressed with the hiring of a web site usability officer this spring. The assembly will invite the usability officer to its meeting at Annual Conference. Our aim is that the site have a prominence similar to that of the site. Lorelle suggested she and Larry Neal connect with ALA staff member Karen Mueller, who sits on the internal web advisory committee. The timing is critical to advocate for since a major overhaul of the ALA web site is slated for this spring. The Chair of the assembly will write a letter to the ALA Web Advisory committee to support the case for the prominent placement of, including a history of its volunteer-driven development, and its role as a "go-to-place" for people outside the profession.

2008 Emerging Leaders project, Recruitment Clearinghouse wiki Page

Two of the four members of the 2008 Emerging Leaders team assigned to work on the ALA

Library Career Recruitment Clearinghouse were present, Miranda Bennett and Rebecca

Blakeley.  The other new Emerging Leaders assigned to this project are Jody Gray and Amanda Ros.  Julie Brewer is serving as the project mentor.  This is the project description, taken from the Emerging Leaders project wiki:

The ALA Library Career Recruitment Clearinghouse was established in 2007 by the ALA Recruitment Assembly as a resource for individuals and organizations to share information and exchange ideas related to library career recruitment. Although the Clearinghouse meets some of the initial needs of library career recruiters, it is not well known and not yet the dynamic, interactive resource 'that is has 'the potential to be.  The Recruitment Assembly requests assistance from the Emerging Leaders organization and usability, content development, and marketing of the Clearinghouse.

The emerging leaders assigned to this project will work to repackage the content of the

clearinghouse web site into a more dynamic tool via the conversion to a wiki format. Rebecca

encouraged members of the Recruitment Assembly to learn how to use a wiki. She told the group that a few wiki tutorials/cheat sheets and a fun video explaining what wikis are will be placed on their wild homepage, members gave the Emerging Leaders several suggestions for content to be placed on the wiki, including links to IMLS-funded recruitment projects.

Next Meeting

Monday, June 30, 2008 from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA.

Prepared by Denise Davis