We’re excited to announce our Equity Mentorship Program! This program is meant to support BIPOC students and early professionals in the library and archives field. Our intention is to create a curriculum that will aid BIPOC in their careers, while creating an opportunity for collaboration, community, networking, and mentorship. This program will take place from October 2022 through June 2023, with Zoom classes concluding in December 2022 and a scholarship for additional continuing education available to be used through June 2023. 

We are extremely grateful to work with an exciting and knowledgeable group of professionals to lead each class. They are: 

  • Dr. Kawanna Bright, Assistant Professor of Library Science at East Carolina University
  • Jessica Hochman, PhD (As part of We Need 2 Talk)
  • Tonya Leslie, PhD (As part of We Need 2 Talk)
  • Diana Moronta, Instruction and Technology Librarian at New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Library
  • Rob Simmons, Director of Social Services and Public Safety at Oak Park Public Library (IL)
  • Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, Assistant Curator and Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning, and Engagement at New York University Division of Libraries

View our official Program Information Sheet here. Information about the topics covered in this program can be found here.

Please see the “Eligibility” section to see if you’re able to apply. 

 

Important Information
  • Initial Call for Applications: Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
  • Application Deadline: Friday, August 5th, 2022
  • Program Start Date: Friday, October 7th, 2022 (First class session meets)
  • Coursework End Date: Monday, December 19th, 2022
  • Program End Date: Friday, June 23rd, 2023
  • Program Scholarship: $2,000 for any library, archives or leadership-related conference, course, or professional development event. This funding must be used by June 23rd, 2023
  • Number of Selected Students/Early Professionals: 5

Please view the “Apply” page for instructions on what you need for your application package.

 

Program Objective

This program is meant to support BIPOC students and early professionals in the library and archives field through coursework provided by leaders in the field, as well as participation in continuing education. Our intention is to create a curriculum that will aid BIPOC in their careers, while creating an opportunity for collaboration, community, networking, and mentorship. 

We aim to connect program participants to one another, as well as to empathetic thinkers in the field. Topics covered in our coursework include: Creating Community in LIS, Managing Conversations of the Moment, EDI Principles, EDI Manifesto: Leaning into the Social Justice Shift in Libraries as a BIPOC and Innovative Approaches to Serving Vulnerable Patrons.

Learn more about each session on our "Program Description" page.

 

Application Process

A cohort of five participants will be selected through an application process. They will submit a 500-750 word letter of intent, their resume and two academic or professional letters of recommendation. Selected participants will meet biweekly in an online Zoom “classroom” for 120 minutes (2 hours) from October to December 2022. Each session will be guided by a professional in the field and will focus on a relevant topic. METRO will host six classes total.

 

Program Requirements

Participants will be required to attend each class, engage with the material, submit a 250-500 word reflection piece to METRO staff within one week after each session, and prepare a final project due to METRO by Monday, December 19th, 2022. We will record each session for students to refer back to for those who may have to miss a class due to personal reasons. 

Please view the “Program Description” page for more information on each session and instructor. 

Each student will complete a final project as part of this opportunity. Potential projects include:

  • Creating and delivering an online slides-based Zoom presentation on an educational topic relating to course material. Topics must be approved in advance by METRO staff, and the presentation must take place before Monday, December 19th, 2022. 
    • This presentation will be listed on the metro.org website and available for the public to attend
    • A recording of the presentation will be made available on METRO’s public YouTube channel
  • Writing a 1,500-word essay that focuses on subject matter covered during the program. Topics must be approved in advance by METRO staff and due by Monday, December 19th, 2022 by midnight 
  • Volunteering with a community-based organization for 8 to 10 hours before the program’s finish date on Monday, December 19th 2022. Participants must organize their volunteer placement and gain approval from METRO before starting. Participants must provide METRO with a letter reviewing their work from the organization by Monday, December 19th, 2022

 

Program Scholarship

After the in-session classes have concluded, students will be encouraged to attend a library, archives or leadership-related conference or professional development event. They will be offered a scholarship of up to $2,000 to pursue this, and will have until June 2023 to engage with continued learning as a part of this program. 

Eligible expenses include conference/event registration costs, housing, $75 per diem for food (alcoholic beverages are not an eligible expense), and transportation to and from relevant events. If childcare is a concern, please email Traci Mark (tmark@metro.org) with info@metro.org copied to schedule a meeting to discuss costs to cover this while participants are engaged in continuing education. 

Scholarships will be remitted via a reimbursement process, though METRO staff are cognizant of hardships that this might engender. If you are unable to engage in a reimbursement process, please reach out to Traci Mark (tmark@metro.org) with info@metro.org cc’ed to discuss alternative arrangements.

 

Eligibility

You are welcome to apply for this program if you: 

  • Are enrolled in an MLIS program OR have graduated from such a program within the past three years 
  • Have three or fewer years of experience as a credentialed librarian or archivist
  • Identify as a Black person, Indigenous person, or other person of color 

This program is open to all individuals who identify with the list above. Special preference will be given to applicants who live or work in New York City or Westchester County.

 

What Program Participants Can Expect

Participants welcomed to the program can expect a dynamic experience where they will gain knowledge and insights that will help them thrive in their careers in the field. Our coursework aims to address skills that we believe are necessary to facilitate a healthy workplace environment and personal wellbeing while at work. We will teach skills that will support students and professionals in advocating for themselves and the projects they care about. We hope to foster a sense of community and knowledge-sharing within the program cohort. 

Each student in the program will receive:

  • A recording of each class. These recordings will be provided exclusively to cohort members and are not to be shared with others 
  • A written handout of main points from each class
  • A scholarship of up to $2,000 to attend a library, archives or leadership-related conference to be expended by June 23, 2023

Please see the “Program Description” section for more information about each class and instructor.

 

Timeline
  • Tuesday, July 5th 2022: Call for applications
  • Friday, August 5th, 2022: Applications due
  • Monday, September 19th, 2022: Selected program applicants will be notified
  • Tuesday, September 27th, 2022: Orientation meeting with students and teachers
  • Friday, October 7th, 2022: First class 
  • Friday, October 21st, 2022: Second class 
  • Friday, November 4th, 2022: Third class 
  • Friday, November 18th, 2022: Fourth class 
  • Friday, December 2nd, 2022: Fifth class
  • Friday, December 16th, 2022: Sixth class (last class meeting)
  • Monday, December 19th, 2022: In-class elements of the program are finished. All outstanding assignments due
  • Monday, January 2 through Friday, June 23, 2023: Participants enroll in and participate in continuing education of their choice. Funding provided by METRO must be expended and receipts and spending reports submitted to METRO by June 23, 2022

 

Program Managers

Traci Mark, Program Manager: Equity, Archives & Media Preservation (tmark@metro.org)

Davis Erin Anderson, Director of Programs and Partnerships (deanderson@metro.org)

Nate Hill, Executive Director (nhill@metro.org)