Minorities in the Field of Library & information science
Crossing the language barrier requires more then moving towards the learning stage. Many of the Native Americans, Asian-Americans and African-Americans may have had the urge to adopt quick learning skills. ALA (American Librarian Association) and many such organizations have provided an identity for the minority librarians, giving them a space to overcome their past struggles, which is why a number of people are being enrolled in this program and enlarging their success rate. Opening new doors to recruit minor graduates in the field of Information Science and giving them an insight of new technologies. While new graduates seek their opportunity and enroll themselves in the freshmen program and prove their credentials.
Minorities in the Field of Library
There are millions of Native American Indians, African-Americans, Latin
Americans and Asian-American currently residing in the United States, and the number of immigrants seems to be improving every year, majority being students who opt to study in broader horizons. While they prove to have credentials to get them in any field of their choice, there are certain states where they are treated as the "black skin" and excluded from the norms of the society.
An African-American Librarian narrates his view about his days after graduating from the university of Pittsburgh. Being the only Native in the entire graduating class, he was faced with a multi-cultural dilemma. His peers did little to help out in such matters, where his resume would be avoided even before he could prove his capability. Thus forcing him to a position of a librarian, which he feels is way beyond his credibility. http://www.eclecticlibrarian.net/cgi-bin/mt-comments.cgi-entry_id=250
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Differing from other States, "Kentucky was the first North America State to establish a free public library, exclusively for the African-American" (Reinette
F.Jones 'African-American Librarians in Kentucky', (http://www.uky.edu/Subject/aalibky.html).It was located at Louisville and managed by an African-American, Thomas Fountain Blue (the first of his kind to manage a public library). It was during the early 1900's, which has been marked as history of Kentucky African-American Librarian and highlights around the time of Thomas Fountain Blue. In May, 1905 the doors to the public library opened, but without an entry for the African-Americans. Then on the first of September, 1905, the first Western Colored Branch Library was opened for the African-Americans, and managed by their own Natives. After the death of Blue, his " Apprentice Program was used as a prototype for professional training programs in schools, colleges and public librarianship," creating a new diversion in the librarian field.
Yale University, one of the oldest and most well-known universities of its time, offers the "Minority Librarians in Residency Program', in order to increase the professional minority representing their staff. A two-year postgraduate experience is offered to the new graduates, giving them the opportunity to learn more skills towards academic libraries and "culturally diverse environment." During the fall in 1995. They recruited their first African-American Librarian, while developing this program and offering internships, which they realized did little to help in their recruitment, and thus they changes the name of their program to, 'Librarian- in-Residency Program'. (Yale University Library, Human Resources (http://www.library.yale.edu/lhr/minority/),bringing for them a greater advantage and an increase towards the librarianship.
On the other hand there are places organizing associations, being compiled by Indian-Americans and Chinese-Americans, to bring out the difficulties students have faced while trying to settle in new world. Places like ALA (American
Librarian Association) and CALA (Chinese-American Librarian Association), have been gathering members to join their organization and helping out Asian
Americans, to overcome their dispute and the language obstacle they are facing.
While ALA are doing their best to promote equal rights and respond to the urgent needs of these people, CALA are joining their communities to bring them all under one roof. They have been publishing articles, printing news and magazines, to bring awareness and make their program more successful.
They deliver their messages through teleconference and internet, bringing together all the communites around the States. They want to bring awareness to overcome the complexities between the multicultural users, since there is a majority in white librarians. According to an article, there are going to be 70% librarians nearing the age of retirement.(Answers to the Chinese-American
Librarian Association Questions, (http://archive.ala.org/berry/calaresponses.html) Thus they are trying to recruit a number of people to replace their old librarian colleagues. They express the minority recruitment as a major concern, as one of them highlights on the fact, how actively she used to sought out the Asians, Africans and Hispanic-Americans and include them into this program, while she was serving the Library Staff at the University of Illinois (1990-1996). She proudly claims to have witnessed around 125 members from 1981, most of them still actively involved.
Yet there were few Natives, who came across a much difficult time starting right from their school days. A Japanese author talks about such difficulties faced by the early immigrants, and the obstruction in the their cultural differences,(Japanese
Americans and Cultural Continuity: Maintaining Language through Heritage, by:
Toyotomi Morimoto). Starting from the vast difference in schools and language for the children, they were pointed out their weaknesses and were referred to as narrow minded'(chapter 27). Even though the text within the book falls in modernization, the author has focused on the Japanese-American surviving in native land. His question in (Page 17), " How can we live with our differences," probes an answer on (Page 81) explaining, "the bridge of understanding" between two cultures.
As the debate for multicultural issues are on the rise, it goes on for the students trying to enroll in the increasing changes in Information Technology. It brings forward the problems prevailing, for the minority lot. As they are working on their to move along and forcing their way towards the upcoming technology, there are very few facing drawbacks into the field, as most of them have managed to prove their credentials. School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, is one such example for recruiting minority students into the field.
A report on National Science Foundation Graduate And Minority Graduate
Research Fellowships, have been "promoting diversity within it's scientific and technological human resource base." Their program is an encouragement for minority students, where they pursue their research and practice in the scientific field, and are awarded with grants according to their credibility. They have a program design for each eligible applicant, from the U.S. Citizen, the Minority
Graduate Fellowships, to the Fellowship for women in Engineering, Computers and Information Science. (NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, (http://www.customerservice.neu.edu/pdf/national.pdf) recent news on the minority student program falling short was brought into notice (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). According to the report, University of Wisconsin, have increased it's enrollment since they launched a " diversity initiative covering 26 of it's campuses in 1998" (by:Toosi, Nahal Milwaukee (Journal Sentinel, 1st April 2004). (http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/apr04/219067.asp).
There has been an increase of 8% to 10% since 1998, of the entire enrollment program, bringing a vast variety of minority students. They are even enrolling a small number of high school students from the Wisconsin's public school of every category. The reason this program has been falling short recently, is the major reason for funds. While the university has been enrolling a large number of minority students, majority of the "undergraduate African-American and Hispanics" end up in debt for students compared to other students. They have been trying to recruit more students, but they end up spending millions on the scholarship for minority students.
Though their six-year graduation rates have been growing worse then those of the white students, but the current minority students have secured their position until they are sophomores. A report categorizes the percentage of the minorities and the whites, revealing, " the entering class of 1997, had 64% of…