Knowledge River Partners

Since its inception, Knowledge River has cultivated strong ties to the surrounding community that have led to partnerships with Pima County Public Library, Arizona Health Sciences Library, and the University of Arizona Libraries and Special Collections. Through these partnerships, KR scholars are able to receive hands-on training during their graduate program through assistantships and internships. As scholars consider in which of the four streams they will specialize (public librarianship, medical librarianship, archives and special collections, or academic librarianship), below are some of the ways that our partnerships will help students achieve their goals. 

Public Librarianship: Pima County Public Library

Objective: Implement a Public Librarianship Stream that will focus on developing cultural competence and skills/experiences relevant to public library services to diverse communities

Major Activities: Courses from a Public Librarianship Stream, including courses in multilingual services, equity of access, children’s literature, and storytelling; Graduate Assistantships in a public and/or tribal library setting.

This Stream addresses the growth in use of free public library services, especially during the harsh economic climate. More and more people are turning to public libraries for not only recreational reasons, but also for employment assistance, second language learning, literacy instruction, health information, and technology use. There is a need for culturally competent librarians who can serve diverse populations.The students in this Stream will be placed in the PIma County Public Library, area tribal libraries and in the KR Office to focus on outreach services and program development. KR students in the Public Librarianship Stream will have the opportunity to develop skills in outreach services, program development, community assessment, partnership building, and information services.

Health Science Librarianship: Arizona Health Sciences Library 

Objective: Implement a Medical Librarianship Stream that encourages KR Scholars to contribute to the reduction of health disparities experienced by Latino and Native American populations and potentially increases the pool of medical librarians represented by two cultural groups highly underrepresented in the LIS profession.

Major Activities: suggested courses from a Medical Librarianship Stream, Graduate Assistantships at the Arizona Health Sciences Library (AHSL), a service-learning practicum
KR candidates interested in the Medical Librarianship Stream will learn the fundamental aspects of medical librarianship in an academic environment, including specialized outreach services for underrepresented/underserved communities. These aspects include user services at the reference and information desk, technical services in the interlibrary loan and collections departments, and administrative services with the development and management of the service learning practicum. KR students will be guided by the suggested courses listed in the Medical Librarianship Stream and work as a Graduate Assistant at AHSL.

This Stream is a partnership with the Arizona Health Sciences Library. AHSL, in collaboration with the School of Information (SI), will manage the Health Sciences Librarianship internship and service learning practicum for the KR program. An AHSL faculty librarian, experienced in working with these two cultural communities, will serve as the program coordinator to oversee all aspects of AHSL internship and service learning practicum.  KR students in the Medical Librarianship Stream will gain academic grounding in key public health issues backed up with hands-on experience, project management, team development, and interpersonal professional skills. Additionally, students will gain increased marketability in a variety of disciplines (health librarianship, public health, public librarianship, community engagement) and experience in applying library skills in multicultural environments.  This Stream will also serve as the first step on a path towards an informationist role for librarians working in communities on health information issues. This kind of experience will be useful in interlocking relationships between electronic medical records, personal medical records, and linkages to relevant knowledge-based information in the 21st century.

Archival Librarianship: University of Arizona Libraries and Special Collections 

Objective: Implement an Archival Stream that focuses on developing cultural competence and technical skills that apply relevant archival practices to Latino and Native American collections.

Major Activities: courses from an Archival Stream, Graduate Assistantships at UA Special Collections or the Center for Creative Photography, and/or at a cultural institution that has Hispanic American and Native American archival collections,

Graduate students will work with Special Collections librarians and archivists on a wide array of archival activities. Students will learn how to process archival collections (including the arrangement, description, and creation of access points) and have the opportunity to work on projects focusing on exhibit curation and design, in-depth reference, instruction, or digital curation. The lead partner for this activity will be the University Libraries’ Special Collections and Center for Creative Photography at the UA. Given Special Collections’ emphasis in U.S./Mexico borderlands material, students will have opportunities to work with Spanish-language material. Other KR partners contributing to this Stream include: Arizona State Library’s American Memory Project, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State University, and the Arizona Historical Society. These partners are representative of Arizona’s rich cultural institutions (academic, public, and tribal) that focus on Hispanic American and Native American collections. The Stream will deliver a learning program that explores issues such as language, property rights, etc., and the importance of metadata in diverse cultural collections. This Stream will contribute to SI’s emerging areas of study in archival and museum certificate program and build on the Digital Information Management (DigIn) program ( by adding more cultural perspectives into the program. Students will leave Special Collections with the knowledge and skill set needed to work in a Special Collections/archival environment, including processing, providing reference and instruction, exhibit design, digital curation, conservation, administration, and XML. 

For more information about the kind of work KR scholars do with our partners, please view the following video:


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences