Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program awards more than $1 million to support library studies at SU
Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program awards more than $1 million to support library studies at SUJuly 14, 2006Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University has been awarded two grants totaling $1.33 million by the Institute of Museum and Library Studies, through the 2006 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, to increase the diversity and availability of courses in library and information science (LIS) and to conduct a study exploring the impact of librarians and media specialists in New York state schools.
In addition, the Institute awarded a grant of $276,633 to the Rochester City School District, which has partnered with SU to educate and recruit librarians in Rochester-area schools.
“I am very pleased that the Institute of Museum and Library Services is tapping the resources of Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies to conduct these important projects that will enhance the skills of current library professionals and the many students studying library and information science,” says U.S. Rep. James Walsh. “This funding will contribute to the ongoing innovative library research and teaching that has made SU’s LIS program one of the foremost programs in the field.”
“We’re delighted to hear from Congressman Walsh that we’ve been selected to receive these new grant awards,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “These important funds will help support and bolster Syracuse University’s continuing work toward educating and recruiting the next generation of librarians and examining the critical role librarians play in our K-12 schools.”
In the first project, “WISE+: Increasing Diversity of the LIS Curriculum,” SU’s School of Information Studies will collaborate with the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh to build upon and enhance a successful IMLS-funded project that increases the diversity of and access to course offerings in library and information science (LIS).
The Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) consortium received a $936,338, three-year grant from IMLS to fund the project. The funding for WISE+ supports three initiatives:
- partnerships between WISE member schools and professional library associations to increase course offerings to LIS graduate students and existing librarians who seek continuing education in diverse or specialized areas of study. Association partners include: the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), American Theological Library Association (ATLA), Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS), American Librarians Association (ALA), Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC), Medical Library Association (MLA), Middle Eastern Library Association (MELA), Music Library Association (MLA), PALINET, ProLiteracy Worldwide, Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), Society of American Archivists (SAA) and Urban Libraries Council (ULC);
- support and training for education in quality online pedagogy; WISE will provide training to faculty and doctoral students who teach these specialized courses; as part of this effort, WISE will establish a “WISE Scholar” program to provide certification for pedagogical training in online teaching; and
- the creation of a digital repository of learning objects from the collection of WISE supported courses; these initiatives will be led by teams from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and SU’s School of Information Studies.
An IMLS grant in the amount of $398,612 was awarded to the school to fund “New York State’s School Libraries and Library Media Specialists: An Impact Study.” The study will provide the library community with information needed to support successful recruitment and education of future librarians. It will establish baseline data on the impact of school library services, programs and resources on student achievement and motivation. Research findings will be useful to school library preparation programs for reassessing their curricula and course content.
The grant awarded to the Rochester City School District will support its “Preparing Librarians for Upstate Schools 2 (PLUS 2)” project, in which the district will partner with the Greece Central School District and SU to educate and recruit future librarians. Building on a previous IMLS-funded project, these funds will provide tuition support for 16 current New York State-certified teachers in both districts to attend the master’s degree program in school library media services at SU. Eight minority and two bilingual (Spanish and English) teachers will participate in the program. The project will also facilitate a campaign targeting undergraduate students at the 13 Rochester-area colleges to raise awareness about careers in school library media services.
“These grants continue Syracuse University’s tradition of leadership in distance learning and school library media education,” says Bruce Kingma, professor and associate dean in the School of Information Studies. “It also highlights our partnerships with faculty and programs at other universities, including the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh, providing students in the Syracuse programs with access to the best faculty worldwide.”
For additional information on WISE+ visit http://www.wiseeducation.org. For more information on the LIS program in the School of Information Studies atSU, visit http://istweb.syr.edu/academics/graduate/mls/.