The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today awarded 38 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grants totaling $22,623,984. These grants provide scholarships for students in master’s and doctoral programs in library and information science, support the research of early career faculty in graduate schools of library and information science, and provide continuing education opportunities to enhance the skills of practitioners in libraries and archives. Some of the projects in this year’s awards will help to boost libraries’ efforts to help the unemployed find work; support libraries in rural communities; expand relationships between libraries, museums, and archives; and strengthen the skills of library staffs in the Pacific territories. To see a complete list of awardees and descriptions of how they intend to use their grants, please go to http://www.imls.gov/news/2010/061510_list.shtm.
“Library services are in great demand as evidenced by the growing numbers of patrons turning to the library to meet their education, workforce, and health information needs. At the same time, information technology has transformed library service and opened the doors to innovation so that libraries can reach diverse people more effectively. In this fast-changing environment, providing training and educational support for librarians and library staff is more important than ever,” said Marsha L. Semmel, acting director of IMLS.
The 2010 grantees include:
University of Illinois
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research have partnered to establish Data Curation Education in Research Centers (DCERC). DCERC will develop a model, including a field experience in a data intensive scientific environment, for educating LIS master’s and doctoral students in data curation. It will implement a graduat research and education program to address the need for professionals with scientific expertise who can manage and curate large digital data collections.
Project CHART (Cultural Heritage, Access, Research and Technology) is a three-year partnership among the Pratt Institute, the Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, and Brooklyn Historical Society designed to prepare master’s students for leadership roles as digital managers and curators in libraries, museums, and archives. Students who receive tuition scholarships graduate with a Master of Library and Information Science having completed an 18-credit program in digital management. The program includes internships at partner institutions where students digitize Brooklyn photographs and produce a public Web site featuring those photographs.
Palau Community College
Palau Community College will develop a distance education Library & Information Services program accredited through the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The goal of this pilot program is to provide a formal training opportunity for the library workers of Palau and to evaluate and test the associates degree curriculum and technology before formally expanding the program to reach the other islands in Micronesia.
WebJunction and the State Library of North Carolina will conduct and impact and needs assessments on unemployment in all United States regions and create a corresponding curriculum that can be tailored to meet local needs. WebJunction will conduct one train-the-trainer workshop and up to 75 local workshops for public library staff working in the highest unemployment areas. It will deliver a presentation at local conferences and make a free version available online, in addition to hosting a Web site for ongoing communication among state libraries.
Nebraska Library Commission
The Nebraska Library Commission and Central Community College will foster the recruitment, education, and 21st century skills development of 165 pre-professional and professional students through scholarships, internships, and stipends. The Cultivating Rural Librarians’ Technology Skills program adds value to students’ formal educational experiences through social and face-to-face networking opportunities and through technology skills training. The grant will also be used to recruit promising high school and college students and diverse library personnel to ensure that Nebraskans receive library services provided by knowledgeable librarians who represent a range of backgrounds and talents.
Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums
The Alaska Native Libraries, Archives, and Museum will support paraprofessional and professional continuing education and training at a summit of library, archives, and museum staff who are Alaska Native or serve significant Alaska Native populations. Working with a diverse group of for-profit and non-profit organizations, the state library will develop a strategic plan to sustain these education initiatives. It will develop a web site to disseminate continuing education and professional development opportunities and will deliver three workshops using a variety of traditional and technology-enabled methods.
There were 110 applications to the program with requests totaling $68,242,619. The next deadline for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program is December 15, 2010. For more information, please go to http://www.imls.gov/applicants/grants/21centuryLibrarian.shtm