ACRL takes lead in recruiting to the profession

Contact: Stephanie Orphan


For Immediate Release

August 2002

ACRL takes lead in recruiting to the profession

The library profession is currently facing a labor gap due to increasing labor demand for library and information professionals coupled with a declining supply of qualified individuals. Based on Census data, more than one-quarter of all librarians with master's degrees will reach the age of 65 before 2009. This data does not take into account early retirement, death or other reasons for leaving the profession before the age of 65.

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is responding to these developments through new measures aimed at recruiting professionals into the field of academic librarianship. A white paper entitled "Recruitment, Retention, and Restructuring: Human Resources in Academic Libraries," has been made available through the ACRL
Website. The paper, written by ACRL's Personnel Administrators & Staff Development Officers Discussion Group's Ad Hoc Task Force on Recruitment & Retention Issues, documents the topics of discussion, presents questions and compiles various strategies for enhancing recruitment and retention efforts. The paper focuses on the central question: How can we competitively and successfully recruit and retain those professionals needed in academic libraries for the future?

In addition to making this white paper available, ACRL is collaborating with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) on a Joint Task Force on Recruitment to the Profession. The goal of this task force is to develop fresh strategies for recruiting and advancing a new generation of talent for the profession of academic librarianship to succeed in the 21st century.

Recruitment to the profession is a focal point for ACRL President Helen Spalding. "During my presidential year, I hope to appoint a task force to pair academic and research librarians with each ALA Spectrum Scholar in graduate school, to encourage them in their studies, and to consider academic librarianship as a career," said Spalding. "Increasingly, students and librarians will be gaining appreciation for the diverse and exciting positions that can be found in academic libraries."

The American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Initiative is a dedicated multimillion dollar effort to recruit and mentor graduate students from traditionally underrepresented ethnic groups. To date, more than 227 scholarships have been awarded visit the Spectrum

ACRL, a division of the ALA, is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic librarians. ACRL is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching and research.