Librarian-in-Residence Program at Yale Seeks More Minorities

The Yale University Library has established a Librarian-in-Residence Program to increase professional minority representation on its staff and further the growth and development of minority librarians. Through the program, which began last year, recent graduates with a master’s degrees in library science can build on previously acquired skills and learn the specifics of Yale’s library system.

“There is a push nationwide to increase the pool of minority librarians available,” says Kathleen Eisenbeis, director of the Social Science Library and Information Services. Librarians-in-residence serve a two-year postgraduate appointment. One appointment will be made every other year.

To manage the increasing technological advances in the library field, “libraries need the richest possible pool of human talent,” says head University Librarian Scott Bennett. “With few members of minority groups employed as professional librarians, we draw upon too narrow a range of talents.”

Raquel V. Cogell, Yale’s first librarian-in-residence, came to the University from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a world-renowned, New York-based research center. Her duties there included selecting books for several of the Schomburg’s literature collections and providing reference service for students, faculty and researchers.

Ms. Cogell earned a Master of Library Science degree in 1994 from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of California at Los Angeles. She was based at Sterling Memorial Library last year, and this year works primarily at the Social Science Library. Her duties at Yale have included Orbis, Nexis and Internet instruction; creating guides for such online data bases; and providing reference assistance.

The Yale University Library system has more than 10.5 million volumes in the Sterling Memorial Library and dozens of school and department libraries. It has a staff of nearly 600 full-time employees.

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