Making it REAL! IMLS Grant Announcements
Recruitment, Education, And Learning:
Creating a New Generation of Librarians to Serve All New Yorkers
IMLS Grant Announcements
The following article appeared in the Spring 2005 edition of Interface, the official publication of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, a division of the American Library Association. This edition focuses on recruitment to the library profession.
Volume 27, Number 1, Spring 2005
Making It Real! Recruitment, Education, and Learning: Creating a New Generation of Librarians to Serve All
by Mary Linda Todd, Division of Library Development, New York State Education Department
The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has approved the New York State Library's proposal for a statewide recruitment project entitled "Making it REAL! Recruitment, Education, And Learning: Creating a New Generation of Librarians to Serve All New Yorkers." A grant award of $995,630 over a period of three years will fund the recruitment of forty-four new professional librarians into a wide variety of library positions and will bring greater visibility and diversity to the field. The grant will enable the launch of a bold and imaginative plan to effect fundamental change in recruitment and education for librarianship. This award is part of IMLS' program entitled Librarians for the 21st Century and the project will be a significant step toward realizing the goal of the Regents New Century Libraries legislative initiative: recruitment of a new generation of librarians to bring greater visibility and diversity to the profession.
Through collaborative efforts between New York's library systems and library schools, this grant is pioneering the idea of Teaching Libraries that will educate and mentor 15 new students through scholarships and work experience. In addition, this grant will fund scholarships for twenty-nine new students at graduate schools of library and information science in New York aimed at enhancing diversity in library service. Scholarship recipients will attend the 2005 New York Library Association (NYLA) conference in Buffalo, NY where NYLA will feature conference programs on the theme of diversity issues for libraries. A key component of this grant is the creation of an online career resource center to assist current and future librarians in finding statewide career information and job opportunities.
This grant is unique due to the large number of project partners and the high level of statewide participation. It aims to combat the shortage of professional librarians, encourage diversity in the profession, prepare new librarians to serve diverse populations, and address New York's regional library needs. Mary Linda Todd, a library development specialist in the Division of Library Development at the New York State Library, is the project manager. For further information please visit the grant web site or contact Todd at (518) 486-4858.
New York State Library to Receive $995,630 from IMLS Grant Program "Recruiting and Educating Librarians for the 21st Century"
State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Janet Martin Welch is very pleased to announce that the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has approved the New York State Library's proposal for a statewide recruitment project titled "Making it REAL! Recruitment, Education, And Learning: Creating a New Generation of Librarians to Serve All New Yorkers." The full funding amount requested, $995,630, will fund the recruitment activities of the project partners, including the New York State Library, 13 library systems, seven graduate schools of library and information science, and the New York Library Association, over a three-year period.
The New York State Library, in collaboration with the project partners, will implement an initiative to recruit new librarians who represent diverse groups and who will acquire competencies for providing library services to diverse populations. Through its two components, the project will provide financial support to 44 master's-level students:
- Library systems, partnering with graduate schools of library and information science, will create 15 scholarships and traineeships in Teaching Libraries where librarian recruits will acquire practical, hands-on experience and mentoring.
- New York's library schools will match federal funds to provide 29 scholarships for students recruited to enhance diversity in the library profession or acquire special skills in serving diverse users, including the disabled.
In 2004, IMLS, the federal agency that supports the nation's museums and libraries, has awarded $14.8 million to library schools and library service organizations to recruit and educate new librarians. The current shortage of school library media specialists, library school faculty, and librarians working in underserved communities underscores a looming crisis in librarianship as fewer faculty are being prepared to educate librarians and more professional positions are going unfilled. Also, large percentages of library directors and other senior librarians are expected to retire in the next 20 years.
Under this year's program, IMLS received 65 grant applications requesting more than $34 million. On July 13, it announced the awarding of 26 grants, including five to institutions in New York State.
The Project Director for "Making it REAL!" is Linda Todd, Library Development Specialist in the Division of Library Development at the New York State Library; phone (518) 486-4858 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The State Library is developing a web site that will serve as a communications vehicle for the project and include the grant narrative with a list of the grant partners.
The Regents New Century Libraries legislative initiative identifies as one of its goals the recruitment of a new generation of librarians to bring greater visibility and diversity to the profession. This grant is a step toward realizing that goal.
The New York State Library has served New Yorkers, state government, and researchers from throughout the United States for more than 180 years. In its leadership role, the State Library works in partnership with the state's 74 library systems to bring cost-effective, high-quality library services to the millions who use New York's 7,000 libraries. Staff experts work with librarians, trustees, school administrators, public officials, and local leaders to solve problems and find new ways of supporting the development and improvement of public, school, academic, and special libraries across New York. Consulting services, grants management, and coordination of statewide library services help New York's libraries take full advantage of state, federal, and private funding programs. One of the nation's leading research libraries and library development agencies, the New York State Library is a program of the State Education Department and is located in the Cultural Education Center in Albany, New York.