News and Announcements Archive

SLIS Alumni Help Create African-American Male Librarians Association

October 11, 2010

AAMLA Determined to increase the African American Male’s presence in the library field

SLIS Alumni Alonzo Hill, MLIS '07, and Bobby Walter, MLIS '08,  have helped to create the African-American Male Librarians Association (AAMLA). What is AAMLA? AAMLA is a group of African American male librarians who have come together under the understanding that a concerted effort is needed to recruit and retain more African American males within the field of librarianship, as they are an underrepresented ethnic and gender group within the field.  The members of AAMLA view this as a crisis and began coming together in the early part of September of 2010. AAMLA’s president Alonzo Hill states it this way -- “The AAMLA is an organization that is geared toward recruiting, retaining, and restructuring how we operate as individual librarians, so we can operate as a collective, network, and lastly become a beacon that will provide and ensure that we are successful with our endeavors as professional librarians.”  Hill’s view reinforces the need for action.  AAMLA is a collective body which affirms its duty to create an organization that has the sole mission of recruiting and mentoring African American Males. AAMLA’s Vice President, Michael Eric Owens, conveys it this way -- “Out of our self-determination, we have created an Association that represents and speaks uniquely to the experiences of African-American male librarians. We endeavor to unite all black male librarians in our industry for the sole purpose of empowering the least among us. Our desire was not born out of ill will toward any organization, but out of sheer determination to chart our own course.”
SLIS welcomes AAMLA’s assistance in increasing diversity within the field of librarianship.
President -- Alonzo W. Hill, Michigan
Vice President -- Michael E. Owens, Oklahoma
Secretary -- Raphael D. Jackson, Florida
Treasurer -- Richard E. Ashby, Jr., New York
Public Relationist -- Marcellaus A. Joiner, North Carolina
Membership Officer -- Bobby Walter, Michigan
Historian -- Derek Mosley, Massachusetts
Other SLIS students and alumni who are AAMLA members are:
Jesse Cleary, MLIS '03
Warren Gaither, MLIS '08
Victor Ibegbu, MLIS '07
Lonell Hamlett