Evidence shows that there is a lack of diversity within the library workforce and this is particularly pronounced in management and leadership positions. This poses a great challenge across all sectors of the library profession.

In response to this, we are pleased to announce the commencement of a research project commissioned to support the creation of a cross-sector Emerging Leaders programme for members of ethnically diverse communities within libraries.

The scoping study has been funded by Arts Council England with contributions from the commissioning partners: Research Libraries UK (RLUK); Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP); Libraries Connected; Society of College, National, and University Libraries (SCONUL); Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL); and Wales Higher Education Library Forum (WHELF).

The scoping study will be conducted by a research team led by Pete Dalton, Director of Evidence Base Research Evaluation and Consultancy Services based within Library and Learning Resources at Birmingham City University (BCU). The other research team members are Professor Christopher Pietroni, Director of the Birmingham Leadership Institute at the University of Birmingham; Sukhvinder Kaur at Evidence Base and consultants Dr Sarah McNicol and Jo Walley.

The scoping study will report in September 2023. The research team will seek to gather the views of members of the library workforce via a national survey that will be conducted in April and May 2023.

Questions regarding this research should be directed to david.prosser@rluk.ac.uk

We are very grateful for the funding from ACE and the support from our partner organisations for this significant piece of work.