Libraries selected to participate in Leading the Charge grant

FAIRFAX, VA – October 11, 2021: The University Libraries is pleased to announce our participation in Hampton University’s William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library’s IMLS funded project grant, Leading the Charge: Advancing the Recruitment, Retention and Inclusion of People of Color within the Library and Information Science field.  

The Leading the Charge Grant pairs project participants with an EDI consultant to receive guidance on developing, implementing, and assessing an initiative which focuses on equity, diversity, or inclusion of POC within their organizations. Mason Libraries’ application, Attracting and Engaging a Diverse Student Workforce at George Mason University Libraries, focuses on efforts to improve recruitment of students of color for undergraduate and graduate student positions within our library units.

Attracting and Engaging a Diverse Student Workforce will be led by Kathleen Bell, Head, Assessment and Planning, and Katara Hofmann, Peer Referral Coach Manager and chair of the Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Of the grant, Hofmann commented, “On behalf of myself and the DEI Council, we are pleased to support the Libraries’ participation in Leading the Charge. As a former student employee, I look forward to working with our colleagues to create a welcoming environment and further employment opportunities for students of color at the university.”

The Libraries was one of ten institutions whose proposals were selected out of a national, competitive process. Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, John Zenelis, remarked, “My colleagues and I welcome this opportunity to engage with and support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at a more focused and sustained level, as well as the opportunity to partner with higher education colleagues across the nation. Ensuring our workforce in the university’s libraries – from student assistants to all levels – is diverse and reflective of our institution is a prominent goal of our university and the Libraries. We want all Mason students to know they are welcome not only in any part of the university’s library system, but in the library and information science profession, which historically has not been reflective of our country’s diverse population.”

Selectees included a combination of university libraries, public libraries, and other library networks. The project results from all participating institutions will serve as a collection of actionable initiatives which can be shared throughout the field of library and information science.

For additional information about the grant, the project personnel, and participants, visit

Leading the Charge is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant number RE-246407-OLS-20.

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