As a founding member institution of the Association of College and Research Libraries Diversity Alliance, WVUL has committed to the “Early Career Bridge Level” offering a three-year residency designed to expand the participant’s self-defined interests and skills in academic librarianship.
Resident Librarians participate in a three-year program to introduce professional life in academic libraries. The program includes on-boarding, mentoring, and rotations in a selection of library areas from which residents will choose an area of specialization to pursue practical experience, scholarship, and research. Our participant-focused program is designed to develop interests and skills through substantive, hands-on experiences.
Onboarding includes formal and informal information and consulting about housing, parking, security, organizational and local/regional culture, communication, working relationship dynamics and committee structure, and available channels for assistance with professional and personal needs and questions.
The Library Faculty Assembly oversees mentoring for WVU Librarians. Mentor/mentee selection is collaborative. Mentors have at least five years’ experience at the WVU Libraries. Benefits include assistance with networking, learning from the mentor’s expertise, gaining knowledge about the University Libraries’ culture, having someone to confidentially discuss questions or problems, and receiving honest feedback in critical areas from someone outside the mentee’s current work area.
Library area rotations follow university and library orientation. First year resident librarians spend time training and working in a variety of library areas, taking time to accomplish co-designed and contracted projects and pausing between rotations to evaluate and assess outcomes. Their mentor and library area supervisors and coordinators assist them in selecting an area to work in and aspects to focus their work on for their second and third year.
Research and scholarly activity are integral parts of the residency plan and engagement in professional development activities is strongly supported. Residents participate in Diversity Alliance cohort activities. Advancing professional competency and positioning residents to be strong candidates for work in academic and research libraries is our goal.
At the rank of Visiting Librarians, residents are evaluated in the areas of librarianship, teaching, professional development of research, and service. Residents have support for scholarly projects and publishing; opportunities to develop leadership skills; and chances for professional service to the Library, University, profession, and/or community.
West Virginia University
West Virginia University is a land-grant university and the state’s flagship institution. As a land-grant institution in the 21st century, West Virginia University’s mission is rooted in high-quality education, excellence in discovery and innovation, a culture of diversity and inclusion, advancements in health and vitality, and pathways for the exchange of knowledge and opportunity among the state, the nation, and the world. WVU is designated as a Research University (High Research Activity) as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, many West Virginia University programs hold specialized accreditation. WVU counts 24 Rhodes Scholars, 36 Goldwater Scholars, and 22 Truman Scholars among its alumni.
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