Diversity of Colorado Library Workers: Professional Self-Perceptions and Portents for the Future

Retirement, Retention, and Recruitment: The Future of Librarianship in Colorado—a recent LRS study—was based on a survey of more than 1,200 library workers statewide in Fall 2003. While the sample for this study could not be obtained randomly, their answers to questions about how library workers themselves perceive librarianship as a profession are intriguing. The ethnicity and gender demographics of these respondents also offer some hope that, in the near future, Colorado librarians will become more diverse, like the patrons they will serve.

Predictably, 9 out of 10 respondents to the library worker survey were White (89.8%) and female (90.3%). Each of the other three major racial groups—American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Black/African-American—represented less than 2 percent of the respondents. Hispanic respondents (who could be of any race) constituted more than 5 percent (5.1%) of the total survey response (see Chart 1 in full report). Suffice it to say, that there is little diversity in gender or ethnicity among Colorado library workers.

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