Figueroa, Powell named ARL Leadership Fellows

March 2, 2022

The Association of Research Libraries has selected two University Libraries professionals for its ARL Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP). Monica Figueroa, librarian for inclusive excellence, and Chaitra Powell, curator of the Southern Historical Collection, will be part of the 25-member 2022-23 LCDP cohort.

Portrait of Chaitra Powell

Chaitra Powell

Portrait of Monica Figueroa

Monica Figueroa

The LCDP is a yearlong experience that prepares mid-career librarians from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to take on leadership roles in their careers and in the profession at large. The program addresses the lack of representation of BIPOC professionals in leadership ranks within academic and research institutions.

“Libraries have not always lived up to our ideals of inclusive excellence,” said Elaine L. Westbrooks, vice provost for University libraries and University librarian. “Chaitra and Monica will gain knowledge, confidence, and a lifelong peer group that will advance their careers and create a more diverse future for our profession.” Westbrooks was a member of the 2007-08 LCDP program and regularly mentors program participants.

Figueroa joined the University Libraries in 2016 as a music cataloging librarian before being appointed librarian for inclusive excellence. She oversees implementation of the Library’s Reckoning Initiative and is chair of the Library’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Council. She was a recipient of the University’s Diversity Awards in 2020.

Powell was named curator of the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library in 2021, after serving as African American collections and outreach archivist since 2014. She was the lead for the project Charting New Courses in Community Driven Archives, a four-year project funded by an $877,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with support from the Kenan Charitable Trust. In 2017, Powell was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

Tagged with: ,