Posted on April 7, 2023

New York Public Library Faces Backlash Over Internship for ‘Black Graduates’

Sarah Rumpf, Fox News, April 5, 2023

An advocacy group is pressing the Albany Public Library after the New York state funded library opened its paid internship program application only to Black applicants.

The Equal Protection Project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation is calling for the public library to change its application process.

“Can you imagine somebody posting for a fellowship at a public library and saying it’s only open to Whites? Nobody would do that,” Bill Jacobson, president of the Equal Protection Project (EPP), told Fox News Digital. “So why do they think it’s okay to open up such a public fellowship only to Blacks? It’s discrimination.”

“What the message they’re sending is that discrimination is okay, depending on who you’re doing it against. And that’s not the law,” Jacobson added. {snip}

The Touhey Library Equity Fellowship (TLEF) is a paid internship at the Albany Public Library in the state’s capital that has been offered since 2020.

“The library profession isn’t as racially diverse as it could be, so the Touhey Library Equity Fellowship was established as a way to hopefully attract Black librarians to Albany Public Library,” Andrea Nicolay, executive director of Albany Public Libraries said, according to the library’s website.


An online application form specifies internship requirements, noting that the two interns must be “Black recent Library and Information Science graduates” who will have “the opportunity to gain valuable practical skills and proficiency in many aspects of public librarianship.”


Jacobson said that after the EPP thoroughly researched the internship program, the group was shocked that a large public library, “would discriminate this way.”

{snip} “A White applicant cannot apply for this. A person of Asian descent cannot apply for it, and a Hispanic person cannot apply for it.