Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education
April 12, 2023
OCR Complaint Filed
In 2020, the Albany Public Library created a paid summer internship at two of the library’s branches that was available only to black graduates of the library school program at the State University of New York at Albany. While this summer’s library fellowship program is available to students and graduates from any American Library Association-accredited school, eligibility still turns on the color of the applicant’s skin.
The application contains a race-based litmus test – it explicitly limits the fellowship to “two Black recent Library and Information Science graduates.” Simply put, graduates who are white – or any race other than black, for that matter – will not be considered.
University at Albany promoted this fellowship numerous times on its website as an “excellent opportunity to intern at one of our closest partners, Albany Public Library,” citing the eligible applicant pool being limited to “students of color.” The University also promoted the program on its social media and noted the “goal of diversifying the professional staff” of the Library.
Equal Protection Project is the Complainant in this matter, which is under evaluation by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.