Identifying Opportunities for Retention of BIPOC Librarians Using Survival Analysis

Principal Investigators


It will investigate the retention of librarians who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color. The research team will use a statistical technique called survival analysis to determine when  and why BIPOC librarians are likely to leave the profession. Interviews will follow the analysis to contextualize the results and discussions with key stakeholders to identify potential directions for improving retention of BIPOC librarians in the profession.

Project Goals

  1. Re-analysis of existing data using survival analysis. The team will re-analyze an existing data set from the IMLS-funded “Workforce in Library and Information Science” (WILIS 2) project that studied career histories of graduates of LIS programs from 2000 to 2009. The data will be re-analyzed using survival analysis with a new focus on race/ethnicity to partially answer RQs 1-4.
  2. Collect and analyze new data using survival analysis. The team will develop and use a survey to collect career history data on LIS program graduates since 2009 and adopt survival analysis to answer research questions.
  3. Interview current and former BIPOC librarians. The team will conduct interviews with BIPOC librarians to contextualize and expand the findings of the survival analysis.
  4. Work with stakeholders to develop retention strategies. The team will share findings with key stakeholders in the profession to develop retention strategies for the profession.

Project Period


Significant Results & Impact

The findings will equip supervisors and professional organizations with knowledge that will help make their retention efforts more specific and their interventions more timely and effective.


Institute of Museum and Library Services
$478,044 grant