Skip to Main Content

Diversity Scholars Program

Information about the OSUL Diversity Scholars Program.


Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs

Is the Oregon State University Libraries hiring for the 2022-2023 academic year?

No, we are not hiring for the 2022-2023 academic year.

How long has the Diversity Scholars Program (DSP) existed at Oregon State University?

The Diversity Scholars Program launched in 2018 with its first Diversity Scholar beginning in January of that year. However, planning and development of the program began in 2015.​

Who are Diversity Scholars?

Diversity Scholars are people of color pursuing a graduate degree in library sciences. The Diversity Scholars Program has a particular emphasis on providing pathways for underrepresented students into professional careers. While working toward attaining their degree, the Diversity Scholars will have a part-time position within the OSU Libraries. The purpose of this program is to recruit, mentor, and retain people of underrepresented group(s) to the library and archives professions.

What is the length of the program?

Diversity Scholars work on 9-month appointments (30 weeks), 20 hours a week. The DSP offers a renewable contract for a second 9-month appointment, with the possibility of a further extension. Please note that Oregon State University uses the quarter system, not the semester schedule; 9-month appointments typically run October-June and July-March, however, the months are flexible.

How many Diversity Scholar positions are there?

We typically hire one scholar per year, and there are usually two scholars working at the same time.

What does a Diversity Scholar do?

Scholars begin their first 9-month appointment by job shadowing, exploring various departments within the library, and working on special projects. Then, scholars may choose to work with a particular department or projects, upon approval from the unit supervisor and DSP supervisor. Activities might include outreach, instruction, shifts at the circulation and information desks, collection development, curating archival displays, creating metadata for collections, etc. (it's truly an endless list). Diversity Scholars are not expected to be generalists or specialists – this is an exploratory program for scholars to gain more experiences in the area(s) of their choosing. A Diversity Scholar’s position description is modeled after an OSU tenure track librarian’s position description: 75% Librarianship/Primary Assignment, 15% Scholarship, and 10% Service. Scholars are expected to engage in professional development opportunities and serve on library committees.

What is the salary, benefits package, and professional development funds for a Diversity Scholar?

Diversity Scholars are paid on a monthly stipend, $1,522 per month, for a total of $13,700 (for 30 weeks of work over a 9 month period, totaling 600 hours), which is about $22.83 per hour (for comparison, minimum wage in Corvallis, Oregon is $12.75 per hour); the position includes healthcare coverage, as well as $2,500 in professional development funds per 9-month appointment.

How is the DSP funded?

The DSP is currently funded via an OSUL endowment, funds at the discretion of the library director. Future plans are to secure permanent funding for the DSP positions.

Is there any possibility of residency positions turning into permanent positions?

Yes, depending on the positions available at the time of the Diversity Scholar’s appointment end date and the interest of a Diversity Scholar in those positions.

What are the requirements for applying for the program? Who is eligible?

For full consideration, a student must be accepted into an online MLIS program. Each term, Scholars will need to provide documentation showing that they are enrolled at least half-time, in good academic standing, in their MLIS program. Please see our Application Process page for more information.

Is there a MLIS program at Oregon State University?

Unfortunately, no. However, there are many online programs through other universities. We are happy to help students select and apply to the MLIS program of their choice. The American Library Association has an up-to-date list of online programs.

Will scholarship opportunities relating to the graduate program be available?

Oregon State University does not offer scholarships because there is not an MLIS program here. However, we have identified potential scholarships and the Scholar's online degree program may also provide scholarship funding. Of course, we are happy to help potential and current Scholars search for funding to cover educational costs. The American Library Association lists several scholarships for students from underrepresented groups.

​How are OSU Libraries working to be more inclusive?

OSU Libraries is working to be more inclusive through staff education and professional development, participating in the Oregon State University Search Advocate program, and hiring faculty focused on community outreach. OSULP programs supporting inclusion include the Oregon Multicultural Archives and the student-led reading collection on the main floor.

On average, how long does it take to complete an MLIS degree program?

An MLIS is usually completed in two years, full-time.

What does one do with an MLIS degree?

There are many career paths within librarianship, which are discussed in the online book So You Want to be a Librarian, available for free download.

Will there be opportunities to work within other OSU libraries? (Guin, OSU Cascades, etc.)?


Who should I contact if I have more questions and/or would like to set up an in-person meeting to learn more about the Diversity Scholars Program?

Contact the DSP Committee chair and DS supervisor Natalia Fernández

How can I learn more about the DSP, specific challenges and successes we've experienced?

For detailed information about the DSP, read "Creating a Library Wide Culture and Environment to Support MLIS Students of Color: The Diversity Scholars Program at Oregon State University Libraries" by Natalia Fernández and Beth Filar Williams published in In the Library with the Lead Pipe in June of 2020.