Using Survival Analysis to Identify Opportunities for Retention of BIPOC Librarians


  • Kawanna Bright East Carolina University
  • Amy VanScoy University at Buffalo
  • Mónica Colón-Aguirre University of South Carolina
  • Sunha Kim University at Buffalo



BIPOC librarians, retention, survival analysis


This IMLS-funded project investigates the retention of librarians who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). The research team will use survival analysis to determine when and why BIPOC librarians are likely to leave the profession. Analysis of  quantitative survey data will be paired with interviews to contextualize the results and discussions with key stakeholders. The goal of this project is to identify potential directions for improving retention of BIPOC librarians in the profession. The research questions for the project are:  

  1. At what point in their careers do BIPOC librarians tend to leave the profession? 
  2. Is there a difference in timing of leaving the profession among different racial/ethnic groups? 
  3. Do contextual factors identified in the literature, such as mentoring and discrimination influence the probability of leaving the profession? If they do, how do the factors work differently for the BIPOC and non-BIPOC groups?
  4. How have the patterns of retention of BIPOC librarians changed over the last decade? 

Knowing what causes BIPOC librarians to leave the profession and when this occurs can lead to improved retention plans for individual libraries and professional associations that will allow for the creation of programs that can bring support to BIPOC librarians when needed. The findings will equip supervisors and professional associations with knowledge that will help make their retention efforts more specific and their interventions timelier and more effective. The findings will allow for more targeted retention programs that will provide the right support at the right time.






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