Peace Ossom Williamson, 2012-2014 ARL Diversity Scholar
As a 2012-2014 ARL IRDW scholar, I have benefited greatly from my experience. Thanks to the generous stipend, I was much more flexible in looking for work in a health sciences library well before graduation. This allowed me greater focus on learning in my classes and at work. Because of ARL funding, I also attended the 2013 ARL Annual Symposium, a visit to Purdue Libraries, and the 2013 ACRL annual meeting. Along the way, I have met various library directors, university librarians, and learned about various roles librarians fill in the library and ways in which to be innovative. I have also met and continue to often communicate with other IRDW and CEP (Career Enhancement Program) participants, many of whom have graduated and are now working in academic and health sciences libraries. These connections are valuable because we are able to share experiences and ideas with one another.
ARL as an organization has also been highly supportive and motivating. I have used professional development funds for continuing education courses at ACRL and have upcoming continuing education focusing on RDA and other new library practices. Outside of courses, I have also learned from my mentor, a director of libraries within a hospital. We speak often, and I am able to learn her methods of multitasking and management as well as learn about her current philosophies for hospital libraries.
Overall, my experience has been enlightening and motivating. Although I have not yet completed my time as an IRDW scholar, it is also impressive and encouraging to know that ARL diversity program employees continue relationships with scholars of years past, offering guidance and support. I have been positively influenced by the program and encourage any library students to apply next year.
Peace Ossom Williamson