Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

ARL/MLA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (DII)



Librarians from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds are underrepresented within the field of music and performing arts librarianship.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)/Music Library Association (MLA) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (DII) seeks to address the growing need for professional staff in music and performing arts libraries who better reflect evolving demographics of students and faculty in music and performing arts higher education.

ARL and MLA seek to recruit students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups to participate in this diversity recruitment program. The goal of the ARL/MLA DII is to create a diverse and well-qualified cohort of new LIS professionals equipped with skills, knowledge, and abilities to address the transformative professional roles in music and performing arts libraries in the 21st century.

The ARL/MLA DII provides generous financial support for minority candidates to pursue the master’s in library and information science degree while gaining valuable, “hands-on” experience in a large academic music library environment. Through programmatic activity, participants will receive additional support to ensure a successful transition into the professional LIS workforce. As Marianne I. Gaunt, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Rutgers University, and member of the ARL Committee on Diversity and Leadership, noted, “It's a great collaboration in an important area. There is so much creative work happening in music and the performing arts that we need a well-prepared, diverse cadre of librarians ready to enhance library services for this community!”