Knowledge River Scholars Program

Knowledge River Scholars Program

Knowledge River supports the education, recruitment and retention of library and information professionals dedicated to serving the needs of BIPOC communities.

The Knowledge River Scholars Program specializes in educating library and information professionals who have experience with and are committed to the information needs of BIPOC communities with an emphasis on Latino, Native American and Black populations and with respect to intersectional identities within these communities.

Knowledge River fosters understanding of library and information issues from the perspectives of BIPOC and advocates for cultural awareness and respect in information services to these communities.

Knowledge River Scholars graduate with an ALA-accredited Master of Arts in Library and Information Science by completing all requirements of the MLIS program. During their graduate studies, KR Scholars receive opportunities for academic support, specialized advising, participation in a cohort-based learning community, mentorship, access to a network of Knowledge River alumni and professional development activities, in addition to their regular studies.

Learn More About the Knowledge River Scholar Application

Our Graduates

Since 2001, over 230 Knowledge River scholars have graduated the program and now contribute to the information science profession in libraries, archives, museums and other information environments. The KR program is the foremost graduate program for training librarians and information specialists with a focus on the needs of historically underrepresented and underserved BIPOC communities. Knowledge River Scholars work to provide equitable and quality information environments and resources nationally and internationally.


Knowledge River is a national exemplar in library and information science education, reflecting and serving BIPOC communities through intentional teaching, research and service. The program focuses on discussion and action to improve services for BIPOC communities in libraries, archives, museums and other information environments.

Historically rooted in groundbreaking, historic initiatives for the advancement of Latino and Indigenous librarianship, Knowledge River continues to grow, reflect and support intersectional identities in information science. Our vision includes a rich diversity of BIPOC communities.

As we celebrate 20 years, current KR scholars and alumni contribute to the future of the program, and the impact of KR on cultural heritage institutions and information environments.


  • Focus on ethnic and cultural awareness and respect as a core goal for the iSchool and iSchool constituencies with Knowledge River as the flagship of this effort.
  • Recruit an annual cohort of Knowledge River Scholars from BIPOC communities to increase ethnics and cultural diversity in the field and in field services.
  • Expand diversity curriculum development within library and information science education and service.
  • Increase emphasis on BIPOC faculty and research, including connections with relevant campus departments.
  • Extend focus on library and community outreach, through service assistantships and other means.
  • Increase cultural awareness, respect and fluency among all.
  • Engage past cohorts to build support for Knowledge River scholars and to further the goals of Knowledge River.
  • Inform the library and information science field in the needs, issues and impact of diversity through research and public information.

Our Partners & Support

Knowledge River is funded largely by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We also receive support from numerous partners, including the University of Arizona Libraries, Arizona Health Sciences Library, Pima County Public Library and the Arizona State Library, Archives and Records.

Support Knowledge River by donating to the Knowledge River Scholarship Fund.

Contact the Knowledge River Scholars Program

Learn more about the Knowledge River Scholars Program by contacting us at 520-621-5220 (voice only) or Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Ready to learn more about applying to become a Knowledge River Scholar?

Learn More