Aug 15th, 2011 @ 7:42 am | Author:
Valley City State University has received a three year, $232,029 grant from the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to develop, implement, and disseminate projects that will develop school library media programs, integrate them across the curriculum, and enhance collaboration among library media specialists, classroom teachers, and school administrators.

"The role of the school librarian is evolving, and this is driving changes throughout K-12 schools nationwide," said Donna James, project director for the grant and library director at the University. "We are pleased that our leadership in library education across the region allows us to increase awareness of the library media specialist's role in meeting information literacy needs, ultimately better preparing K-12 students for career or college."

Under the grant, VCSU will select up to 25 three-person collaborative teams from schools across North Dakota and neighboring states. Each team will consist of the school administrator, the library media specialist, and a classroom teacher, and will receive 15 months of intensive training and mentoring that will include both face-to-face and online support. As a result of this program, these teams will be equipped to improve the information literacy of K-12 students so they can better recognize when information is needed and locate, evaluate, and effectively use information. Educators who complete the program will earn Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit.

VCSU is working in collaboration with the North Dakota Leadership and Educational Administration Development Center (ND LEAD), a statewide education organization that provides professional development programs and services to school leaders. In this collaboration, ND LEAD will assist in the development of administrator-specific elements of the program, the recruitment of participants, promotion of information dissemination, and will help foster additional projects after the grant period ends.

This is the second significant grant that VCSU has received from the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program. In 2007, VCSU received a $573,909 grant to create a concentration in Library and Information Technologies for its online Master of Education program and provide tuition assistance for students from underserved rural populations. The concentration is the only graduate-level coursework on the subject available in North Dakota.

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.