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Emerging Pathways in Academic Librarianship: The UofL Diversity Residency Experience

As Strategic Initiatives Librarian for University of Louisville Libraries, the Diversity Resident will develop a wide range of marketable skills and gain authentic leadership opportunities through a sequence of three mentored experiences within the Research Assistance and Instruction Department (RAI): (1) scholar services; (2) innovation and entrepreneurship; and (3) student success. Lasting approximately six months to a year each, these experiences will enable the resident to explore current and emerging career paths in academic librarianship; work with skilled mentors to support research and teaching activities across the university; and position themselves for future success as a leader in the field.

Please see the full position announcement for more information on the position and the application process.

Experience #1: Scholar Services

Mentor: Latisha Reynolds, Assistant Head, Research Assistance & Instruction; Director, DEI Initiatives

The resident will collaborate with RAI librarians to propel the University’s research agenda through the direct provision of services that aid faculty and graduate students with conducting and disseminating research, as well as evaluating the impact and value of that research on a global scale. The resident will help seek, build, and maintain embedded library service partnerships with individual researchers and research teams on campus and play a leadership role in an evolving service model that includes conducting literature searches, facilitating systematic reviews, and creating citation impact reports.

The resident will gain experience and skills in:

  • Supporting all aspects of the research lifecycle.
  • Conducting literature searches using library databases and other tools.
  • Measuring and reporting on research impact (e.g., citation metrics).
  • Engaging in liaison outreach and collaboration with faculty and other researchers.
  • Developing innovative service models in an academic library setting.

Experience #2: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Mentor: Alexandra Howard, Business & Entrepreneurship Librarian

The resident will collaborate with RAI librarians to enhance and expand the library’s role in supporting and developing innovative research and entrepreneurial activities across the university and community. As a member of the department’s new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team, the resident will help form partnerships on campus and in the community to promote equitable access to resources and programming related to entrepreneurship and emerging technologies, particularly in a STEM context.

The resident will gain experience and skills in:

  • Building relationships and partnerships across academic units and centers on campus.
  • Providing research consultations to entrepreneurs on campus and in the community.
  • Developing workshops and events that foster engagement with entrepreneurship and emerging technologies, particularly in a STEM context.
  • Conducting outreach to diverse student populations and minority-owned businesses in the Louisville community to provide equitable access to entrepreneurship resources.
  • Creating online learning materials to support innovation and entrepreneurship research.

Experience #3: Student Success

Mentors: Anita Hall, Assessment & Analytics Librarian, and Amber Willenborg, Online & Undergraduate Learning Coordinator

The resident will collaborate with librarians across the university to enhance student success programming and initiatives. As a member of the libraries-wide Student Success Group, the resident will play a significant role in helping the organization become a key institutional partner in initiatives related to student success and retention. This experience will also serve as a capstone during the last year of the program, with the resident collaborating directly with Anita Hall, the Assessment and Analytics Librarian, on a mixed-methods research project. Specifically, the project will identify and assess DEI needs for a specific demographic group, based on the background and/or research interests of the resident. The resident will conduct research on the needs and experiences of this demographic group, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. This assessment project will result in a formal report for University Libraries administration as well as an article intended for publication.

The resident will gain experience and skills in:

  • Supporting high-impact practices by developing student success partnerships and collaborations with other campus units.
  • Creating new student success programming and initiatives, including library events targeting underserved populations.
  • Enhancing meaningful assessment of library student success initiatives with the goal of correlating library assessment data to retention and graduation.
  • Conducting formal research and data analysis and preparing reports and publications for various professional audiences.