Mentoring on My Mind: It Takes a Family to Graduate a Minority Library Professional

By Alire, Camila A. | American Libraries, November 1997 | Go to article overview

Mentoring on My Mind: It Takes a Family to Graduate a Minority Library Professional


Alire, Camila A., American Libraries


How does it feel to leave your family - your only support system - behind, perhaps for the first time, to go after your dream of a graduate degree, then to walk into class and be the only student of color in the room?

Most people will never know how it feels to be constantly reminded that one is a member of a minority community in a mostly white institution. Let me help you visualize those feelings. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine yourself walking naked into a classroom full of people. Now, that is exactly how it feels.

At an ALA Council meeting in San Francisco earlier this year, there was much discussion about the Spectrum Initiative (AL, Aug., p. 74+), which had been introduced by then ALA Executive Director Elizabeth Martinez. It appeared that some of my fellow councilors thought funds for the initiative should be restricted to scholarships. I would argue that there is a compelling need for funds in the Spectrum Initiative - or any other minority student scholarship program - to provide students with some type of support system to replace the crucial ones they leave behind.

In most minority groups, the family (and the extended family) is the most important cultural characteristic. The family is so important to minority students because it helps these young people develop and maintain self-esteem and self-confidence and to maintain their identity. Perhaps the essential difference between this experience and the experience of the white majority is that the white familial system is probably not the only effective support system available to these students. White community institutions - even churches - are much more likely to encourage outward movement. Motivation for minority students is most often rooted in the culture of their families.

From the family to the fire

It is this reliance on and trust in the family that influence many minority young adults in their decision making. It is often the need to be close to the family that determines a minority student's undergraduate college choice. But choosing an institution closer to home is usually an option because there are numerous choices available.

In deciding on an MLS graduate program, however, the choices are limited geographically. Since there are only 56 accredited MLS programs in the United States and Canada, it is unlikely that one of those programs will be in a minority student's community or even state. The apprehension students of color have about leaving their families to attend a graduate program is serious; often it is the primary consideration.

Because many minority students in undergraduate programs are first-generation college students, their families are more likely to be supportive of their attending college and completing a BA degree if the students choose colleges close by. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Mentoring on My Mind: It Takes a Family to Graduate a Minority Library Professional
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.