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Librarians Urged to Update Brand, Diversify Ranks

July 6, 2018

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has highlighted the pressing need for greater diversity among library and information science graduates.

In a recently published report, "Positioning Library and Information Science Graduate Programs for 21st Century Practice," IMLS said the LIS student body is failing to reflect the increasing diversity of the American public.

Better branding of librarianship will be essential to “recruit new voices” to the field, the authors of the report concluded. They noted that antiquated images of librarians “shushing patrons” or “working alone all day in a corner cubicle” have “remained static in popular culture.”

The report called for ideas for how the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which has supported diversification of the field through scholarships, fellowships and grants, could have a greater impact.

“What’s the next phase that pulls the profession forward?” the report asked.

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Lindsay McKenzie

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