IMLS grant funds scholarships for M.Ed. library students

Jul 3rd, 2012 @ 2:29 pm | Author:
Valley City State University has been awarded a three year, $290,014 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The grant will fund scholarships for students enrolled in VCSU's online Master of Education program with the Library and Information Technologies (LIT) concentration and for in-service librarians attending IMLS sponsored summer institutes.

"This award is evidence that our online Master of Education and our Library and Information Technologies concentration are contributing to VCSU's growing reputation for academic excellence," said Dr. Steve Shirley, president of VCSU.

Donna James, project director for the grant and library director at VCSU, said, "This award reflects continued confidence in our LIT program and our ability to prepare librarians for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century library."

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, was established to bolster the library profession. Susan Hildreth, director of the IMLS, said, "We know that the most valuable asset of any library is its staff, and we are happy to once again be able to invest in their development. We know that communities across the nation will continue to reap the rewards of this investment in education for years to come."

VCSU's online Master of Education and its LIT concentration have recently received national recognition in the U.S.News first ever edition of Top Online Education Programs (January, 2012). In February, 2012, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) division of the American Library Association (ALA) and NCATE recognized VCSU's LIT concentration as a quality school librarianship program.

Of the 119 applications for this grant, the IMLS made only 24 awards, and of these, only three organizations, including VCSU, have also been recognized by the AASL as a quality school librarianship program. Other institutions to receive awards include the University of Southern California (Los Angeles), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Drexel University (Philadelphia). With this latest grant, the IMLS has awarded VCSU's LIT program a total of $1,095,952.

Under the terms of this grant, the scholarships will cover up to 85% of tuition for 20 students in VCSU's online Master of Education Library and Information Technologies concentration and full tuition for in-service librarians attending VCSU's summer institutes. As of the end of Spring semester 2012, 21 students were active in the LIT concentration, and the program has produced 24 graduates.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Through grant making, policy development, and research, IMLS helps communities and individuals thrive through broad public access to knowledge, cultural heritage, and lifelong learning.

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.

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