Gabriel Garcia
Staff Writer

A new UT program is attracting minority library school graduates to careers as academic librarians.
The Minority Librarian Residency Program offers on-the-job training and career guidance from experienced librarians.
"Our residents gain valuable and varied experiences early in their careers. And the library benefits from the residents' unique perspectives and their up-to-date skills as recent master's degree recipients," Martha Rudolph, publications coordinator of UT Libraries, said.
"This initiative for entry-level librarians offers benefits for the residents and for the UT Libraries. It gives beginning librarians substantial professional experience early in their careers, increases library faculty and staff diversity, and strengthens programs and services while promoting a more welcoming environment for all students," Barbara Dewey, dean of UT Libraries, said.
The first three participants in the program all recently received master's degrees in library and information science. They include Kawanna Bright, a 2003 University of Washington graduate, Maud Mundava, a 2003 graduate from State University of New York-Buffalo and a Fulbright Scholar, and Jayati Chaudhuri who earned her master's degree in the fall of 2002 from the University of Rhode Island.
All three are helping the library in key areas.
Bright works in The Studio and currently offers workshops on Web site creation for the library staff. Mundava is preparing a teaching guide to help faculty recognize plagiarism and teach their students to use information ethically. Chaudhuri is working in the technical services area of the library, cataloging some of our more unusual library materials, according to Rudolph.
The participants had a very intense first month in September. They were shown around the campus and met the staff and faculty and area libraries. They also attended several conferences, according to Thura Mack, a training librarian at UT Libraries.
The residents are currently rotating through several areas of the librarian's job and will continue to do this for the rest of their first year. In their second year the residents will choose a specific area of the librarian's job to focus on, according to Molly Royse, co-chair of the Library Diversity Committee.
"It has been overwhelmingly successful, and that can be contributed to the campus and library leadership and staff. We did extensive research and investigation on similar programs to this before we brought residents here," Mack said.
"We're very pleased, even if the program is in its infancy. After only the first rotation, we already see benefits for the residents and for us. We get much input from them," Royse said. "Out of this we not only get extra diversity, but we get three professional librarians on our staff."
The Minority Librarian Residency Program is funded by the UT Libraries and the UT Chancellor's Office.