Mentorship – in any form – can be an effective way for LIS students of color to learn more about the field. We learn a lot outside the classroom through jobs, internships, and volunteer experiences, and mentorship is another aspect that can help increase a student’s knowledge. Yet besides learning about the academic hiring process, dealing with negative workplace environments, or where to find job postings, mentorship of LIS students of color by mentors of color can help us see ourselves in the field, learn how to navigate white spaces, and how to advocate for ourselves.
To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: ALA Ethnic Caucuses (and more) Part 2
In this second part, I cover the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). At the end I touch on some other non-ALA groups that might be of interest to readers.
Before even starting library school, students can join local and national associations, such as the American Library Association, often at a student rate. Within ALA are five ethnic caucuses: the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Library Association (CALA) and REFORMA—the National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.