Volume 27, Number 1, Spring 2005

ALA Recruitment Assembly Forum Kicks Off Modwinter for Many!

by Cheryl Bryan, Southeastern Massachusetts Library System and Chair of the ALA Recruitment Assembly

On January 14 the ALA Recruitment Assembly sponsored a day-long forum to share the research, products, and best practices taking place in library career recruitment today. More than 125 people participated in the Library Career Recruitment Forum organized by ASCLA members Connie Paul (CJRLC, N.J.), ALA HRDR liaison Julie Brewer (University of Delaware), and myself. Speakers included a panel of Simmons GLIS students moderated by Simmons Dean Michele Cloonan; ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano; a panel featuring IMLS recruitment projects, with Keith Curry Lance, Director of Library Research Service for Colorado and University of Denver; Veronda Pitchford, Assistant Director , Chicago Office Metropolitan Library System; Connie Paul, Director of the Central Jersey Regional Library Co-operative; and Dr. Jennifer Arns, a Professor at University of South Carolina. James Matarazzo, Dean Emeritus, Simmons GLIS, and Joe Mika ,Wayne State University, presented their data on library salaries; with a wrap-up by former Spectrum scholar Allison Sutton. Connie Paul previewed CJRLC’s draft of the new Make a Difference at an Urban Public Library DVD.

The day provided recruiters with a wealth of information and resources. Display tables featuring recruitment materials and videos from ALA, its divisions, affiliates and members ringed the room. The afternoon included one of the most popular features of the forum, a series of moderated talk tables. During this period Recruitment Assembly PLA Representative Larry Neal, (Clinton-Macomb PL, MI) held focus groups to evaluate two projects of the Recruitment Assembly. They are developing a glitzy new Web site intending to attract high quality people from diverse backgrounds to library careers. The Web site will present positive, appealing, and jargon-free impressions of library work and assist visitors in connecting with people already working in libraries. It will replace the existing “Careers in Libraries” area on the ALA Web site, as well as be directly accessible from Librarycareers.org which has been purchased by the American Library Association for this purpose. The Recruitment Assembly is also developing an Internet recruitment resource area for library recruiters. The ALA Recruitment Clearinghouse currently lists more than 90 resources and sample recruitment initiatives to assist with local, grassroots recruitment efforts. Larry Neal has taken the lead in developing LibraryCareers.org, intended for the general public. Julie Brewer, HRDR liaison, developed the content for the Recruitment Clearinghouse Web page which will be mounted on the ALA Web site. Please notify Julie Brewer, University of Delaware Library, via e-mail at of other recruitment resources or sample programs that can be added. Other talk tables were led by representatives of ALA divisions, chapters, roundtables, affiliates, and members. Some of the day’s presentations and talk tables’ results are linked to www.becomealibrarian.org.

For further information, contact Cheryl Bryan at (508) 923-3531.