RBS-RBMS Diversity Fellowship Program


Rare Book School (RBS) and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), are pleased to announce a new joint fellowship program, the RBS-RBMS Diversity Fellowships. Two fellowships will be awarded this year to early-career librarians from underrepresented racial or ethnic communities who demonstrate excellent potential for professional achievement. These awards will allow recipients to attend a course at RBS and to increase their professional involvement at the national level through participation in RBMS and attendance at its annual conference, held in Iowa City in June 2017.

During their fellowship tenure, RBS-RBMS fellows will receive intensive, hands-on training at RBS and may pursue further learning and service opportunities as part of RBMS and its annual conference. Through these activities, RBS-RBMS fellows will enter into a professional community of likeminded individuals interested in special collections librarianship. The fellowship program includes the following components:

  • one week-long, 30-hour Rare Book School course (contingent upon acceptance into the course by the instructor; admission is competitive)
  • one year’s membership in RBMS
  • the opportunity to volunteer or intern with one of RBMS’s standing or ad hoc committees (whose work range from program planning or membership or diversity to bibliographical standards; see the full committee list)
  • registration fees for the RBMS conference in Iowa City (June 2017)
  • funds covering the cost of travel and housing at RBS and at RBMS

An applicant must be a member of an underserved racial or ethnic group or work in a library that primarily serves such groups. Applicants must also:

  • be currently enrolled in an MLIS program; or
  • be currently enrolled in another MA program and currently working in a library (including unpaid internships); or
  • have received the MA or MLIS within the past 5 years (since October 2011) and be currently working in a library (including unpaid internships)

Applicants must be able to take an RBS course during the year of their fellowship, contingent upon their admission to the course, and will be expected to attend the RBMS conference in June 2017.

The following classes of applicants are ineligible for an RBS-RBMS Fellowship:

  • anyone who has previously attended an RBMS conference
  • anyone who has attended three or more classes at RBS
  • past or present members of RBS’s full-time, year-round staff

Applications will be accepted directly by RBS. The 2016 fellowship cycle has now closed; applications for the next cycle will be available in early September 2017.