INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana State Library and the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) Indianapolis were awarded a $1 million federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the "Librarians Leading in Diversity (LLID)" project. The grant was given as part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. Additionally, the project is supported by the Indiana State Library's Diversity Advisory Council, Academic Libraries of Indiana, Administrators of Large Public Libraries in Indiana, the Indiana Black Librarians Network, the Indiana Library Federation, and the Indiana Special Libraries Association.
"This is a fabulous opening for Indiana libraries to become more diverse," said Dr. Marilyn Irwin, Associate Dean, School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Indianapolis. "This grant creates great opportunities for members of diverse communities who have been historically underrepresented in the profession."
In particular, African-Americans and Latinos are most underrepresented in the Indiana library profession. An original goal of the State Library's Diversity Advisory Council was to increase the level of ethnic diversity in all types of libraries so that library staff reflects the communities they serve. Ultimately, by increasing diversity in the library profession it is the Council's belief that state literacy levels will increase by role modeling through libraries and library staff.
The project will work toward accomplishing the State Library's Diversity Advisory Council's goals by providing scholarships for 30 Master's of Library Science students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Scholarship recipients will then commit to work in an Indiana library for at least two years. Recipients will also benefit from participation in state and regional library associations, as well as other supplementary activities including special orientation meetings in various types of library settings, meetings with library directors, diversity and ethics workshops, transition to work programs, online and face-to-face support networks, and other special projects.
"This project will advance Indiana's library profession as a whole," said Indiana State Librarian, Roberta L. Brooker. "Not only will these scholarships help racial and ethnic minorities receive a solid library science education, they will also give them a foot in the door professionally and keep them in Indiana."
In all, the IMLS awarded 31 institutions grants totaling $20.3 million as part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. This year's grantees will provide educational opportunities to library students and staff to strengthen Gulf Coast libraries; support school library media programs; increase the number of librarians, archivists, and library and information science professors; increase diversity in the library workforce; and strengthen that workforce to better meet the needs of users of all types of libraries.
First Lady Laura Bush announced the President's multimillion dollar support of an initiative to help bolster the library profession in 2002. Since then, IMLS has helped fund the education of 3,220 master's degree students, 186 doctoral students, 1,256 pre-professional students, and 26,186 continuing education students.
To view the IMLS's news release and a list of awardees and descriptions of how they intend to use their grants, visit http://www.imls.gov/news/2008/061708.shtm.
« Back to News Release List
Link to this event: