UNC Greensboro Library Gets Grant
A federal grant of almost $900,000 will help the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro recruit minority students.
The $889,401 grant is one of 39 awarded during this grant cycle by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS received 110 applications requesting more than $68,242,619.
The grant results from a team effort between Library and Information Studies and the UNCG University Libraries.
The funds will be used to recruit 15 minority students into UNCG’s Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program. The grant covers tuition and fees, student health insurance, stipends and expenses to attend a national conference.
The program also provides the students with internship opportunities at 10 participating academic libraries in North Carolina, pairs them with experienced librarians for mentoring and offers them cultural enrichment activities during the two-year MLIS program.
“The driving force behind any successful library is a staff of educated and dedicated library professionals. It is IMLS’s great pleasure to announce the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program awards, which will help support the next generation of library professionals in their academic and community-building endeavors,” said Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
“This grant is a timely infusion to help increase the number of the students from underserved communities into the MLIS program at UNCG,” said Dr. Sha Li Zhang, project director/principal investigator and assistant dean for collections and technical services for University Libraries.
Zhang and her team won a federal grant of $862,000 in June 2008 from IMLS. This initial federal grant supported the creation of the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholars Program (ACE) at UNCG.
“We are very happy to receive the second grant which will build on the success of the initial cohort. More culturally diverse students enrolling and graduating from library and information studies programs will result in the much needed increased diversity in the library profession,” Zhang said.
Rosann Bazirjian, dean of the university libraries, points out that in these times of tight budgets, the grant will enable students to obtain a degree and the skills necessary to be the best professional academic librarians they can, and do so with an understanding about working in a diverse world of many cultures.
“I am thrilled that we have received this important grant to provide an opportunity for a second cohort of very talented students to attain an MLIS degree from our library and information studies program,” Bazirjian said.
The co-principal investigators for the grant are Bazirjian; Dr. Clara M. Chu, chair of the library and information studies department; Gerald Holmes, reference librarian/diversity coordinator for university libraries; and Drs. Julie Hersberger and Lee Shiflett, professors in library and information studies.
Participating libraries include High Point University, Wake Forest University, Guilford College, Elon, N.C. A&T, Livingston College, John C. Smith University, Winston-Salem State University and Bennett College for Women.
IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.
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