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Kaleidoscope Program, The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is accepting applications for the 2023–2025 cohort of the Kaleidoscope Program. The ARL Kaleidoscope Program is a two-year commitment that aims to prepare BIPOC graduate students for purposeful and consequential careers in research libraries and archives through enriched leadership development and community-building opportunities.

Benefits of the Kaleidoscope Program include:

  • Tuition support of up to US$10,000 over two years to defray the cost of MLIS education
  • Virtual educational sessions
  • Attendance at the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium
  • Attendance at an ARL member library site visit
  • Financial support of up to US$2,000 for professional development
  • A formal mentorship program

The Kaleidoscope Program is funded by ARL member institutions. The program was established in 2000 as the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce (IRDW) and was renamed Kaleidoscope in 2019.

Program Goal and Objectives

The Kaleidoscope Program aims to:

  • Create a scholars-centered community of BIPOC leaders in research libraries and archives
  • Support the persistence of scholars in memory and information graduate programs
  • Facilitate connections between scholars and emerging and established leaders in research libraries and archives
  • Prepare scholars to navigate post-degree professional settings
  • Provoke critical inquiry and action toward just and equitable research information environments

Applicant Criteria

Kaleidoscope Scholars must meet the following criteria:

  • Identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color
  • Be a resident of the US or Canada
  • Be accepted into a graduate program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA)
  • Demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a career in a research library or archive

To Apply

All applicants are required to submit the following materials by 11:59 p.m. Pacific daylight time on Monday, May 15, 2023 (requests for accommodations, questions, and concerns can be sent via email to [email protected]):

  • Online application form (requires Google account; program participation also requires a Google account; a free Google account may be created at
  • Résumé
  • Undergraduate transcripts (unofficial or official) including last academic semester completed
  • Graduate transcripts (unofficial or official) including last academic semester completed OR copy of official letter of acceptance into a graduate-level program in library and information science (either at the time of application or before being accepted into the Kaleidoscope Program)
  • Two letters of recommendation (See application requirements for details.)

Informational Session

ARL is hosting an informational session on Tuesday, April 11, 1:00–2:00 p.m. (EDT), to share more about the Kaleidoscope Program and answer questions. A recording of the session will be posted. For Zoom details and more information about the program and the application process, visit