CST Librarian Receives Diversity Scholarship
Claremont School of Theology Acquisitions Librarian Drew Baker has been awarded a scholarship for Diversity in Theological Librarianship from the American Theological Library Association (ATLA). He is one of only two recipients of the scholarship this year, as selected and administered by the Diversity Committee of the ATLA. Baker will apply the scholarship towards a Master of Library and Information Science degree that he is presently pursuing through San Jose State University.
For Baker, promoting diversity is primarily about "actively engaging in deconstructing societal barriers that impede marginalized individuals from being heard because of their differences (perceived or otherwise) and actively promoting places where constructive dialogue can occur both within communities and across different communities.”
Baker believes that libraries, most especially theological libraries, have an important role in fostering diversity as a value for society. “Given that theological libraries are a unique site for deep community and individual reflection on matters pertaining to ultimate values, societal engagement, and the research tools to practically connect the two, they are incredibly important locations for these sorts of conversations and the active pursuit of diversity."
He intends to employ what he learns through his academic pursuits to his work with the CST community. "I will be tireless in my pursuit of cultivating active diversity in member libraries, beginning but not ending with my own. Justice and compassion demand no less of me.” He added, “Through this degree (and ATLA's support), my hope is to continue to cultivate the skills necessary to be a skilled, knowledgeable, and justice-aware scholar-librarian in the field of religious studies here at CST.”
Dean of Library and Information Services Dr. Tom Phillips is enthusiastic about what Baker brings to his role as Acquisitions Librarian and what his further studies will mean for the CST community. “With his expertise in both American religious experience and in Asian religious traditions, Drew is uniquely positioned to help CST serve the church and a religiously diverse world,” Phillips said. “Completion of his MLS will provide Drew with the professional library skills to make full use of his theological training and expertise in the support of student and faculty research.”
As he begins his studies at San Jose State, Baker is simultaneously completing a PhD here at CST in Religion, Ethics, and Society. His doctoral work has focused on religion in the United States, Buddhism, and family life. In 2009, Baker graduated with an M.A. from CST.
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