ARL/Music Library Association (MLA) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative – Call for Applications

ARL is now accepting applications for the ARL/Music Library Association (MLA) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (DII). This scholarship program, funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and by ARL and MLA, offers minority candidates an opportunity to pursue the master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) while gaining valuable “hands-on” experience in a major music library. The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities within music librarianship by providing support for master’s-level LIS education and the practical experience critical for successful entrance into the profession.

Students who have applied to or who are enrolled in an MLIS program with a concentration, certificate, or courses in music librarianship are eligible to apply for the ARL/MLA DII. ARL will accept applications on a rolling basis.

Program Benefits

The ARL/MLA DII fellowship offers a generous compensation package for each program participant consisting of:

  • Tuition stipend of up to $10,000 to be distributed over two years, in installments of $2,500 per semester.
  • Paid internship in a partner music/performing arts library for a period not to exceed one calendar year. Internship sites at partner libraries will be determined by the applicant pool and by the capacity of potential partners to develop and manage the internships.
  • Financial assistance for relocation to the area of the MLIS program into which the participant has been accepted.
  • Paid student membership in MLA for one year.
  • Support for travel to and attendance at an MLA Annual Meeting.

In addition to financial support, the ARL/MLA DII fellowship will provide each program participant with:

  • Mentoring by a library/information professional employed in the partner library. Mentors will participate in formal training provided by ARL consultants.
  • The opportunity to network with first-time MLA attendees and MLA officers and luminaries at special programs at the Annual Meeting.
  • Career placement guidance and assistance provided by the MLA placement officer, programs at the MLA Annual Meeting, and other career resources and services available through the MLA and ARL websites.

Impact on One Fellow’s Career

Former DII fellow, Jonathan Sauceda, offers his reflections about how the program helped him advance his career in several ways. Sauceda notes, “[The DII] gave me the opportunity to work on several projects at the University of North Texas, which has one of the largest music libraries in the world. This helped give me the experience and qualifications I needed to make me competitive in the job market.” Sauceda also observes that the conversations in which he engaged at the MLA Annual Meeting—a trip supported by the DII—encouraged him to apply for positions that he may not have previously considered.

A two-minute video by Jonathan with additional reflections on his experience can be found on the ARL website:

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