The Virtuous Circle: Increasing Diversity in LIS Faculties to Create More Inclusive Library Services and Outreach


  • Paul T. Jaeger University of Maryland
  • Renee E. Franklin Syracuse University



While increasing the diversity of the library profession has been a longrunning concern of Library and Information Science (LIS), the diversity of LIS doctoral students and faculties has received far less attention. This paper argues that libraries will be best equipped to provide inclusive services and outreach to diverse populations when LIS doctoral students and faculties better reflect the diversity of the United States population. After a brief overview of efforts to diversify LIS, this paper examines the current state of faculty diversity. The concept of a “virtuous circle” is then introduced, examining the ways in which an increase in faculty diversity can ultimately lead to more culturally aware LIS graduates whose education will prepare them to help libraries provide inclusive services and outreach to diverse communities of patrons. The paper then discusses ways that LIS programs and LIS research can work to create this virtuous circle to promote diversity and inclusiveness in LIS.