First Lady Laura Bush recently announced $20,869,145 in grants from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Thirty-five awards will go to universities, libraries, and library organizations across the country today to recruit and educate librarians. The grants are designed to help offset a current shortage of school library media specialists, library school faculty, and librarians working in underserved communities, as well a looming shortage of library directors and other senior librarians, many of whom are expected to retire in the next 20 years.
The First Lady made the announcement on June 26th in New Orleans at the American Library Association's annual convention during a national town hall meeting of local and national government officials, educators, and business leaders, and an audience of thousands of librarians. The meeting, School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning, focused on the essential role school libraries and librarians play in restoring learning and reuniting community in times of crises.
The grants benefit 26 doctoral, 361 master's, 3,201 continuing education, and 289 pre-professional students across the country. Since First Lady Laura Bush first announced the President would support a multi-million initiative to recruit new librarians in 2002, the Institute has funded 1,898 master's degree students, 145 doctoral students, 949 pre-professional students, and 3,579 continuing education students. The multi-faceted grant program supports tuition assistance, curriculum development, service expectations, job placement, recruitment of non-traditional library students, support for doctoral candidates to teach library science, and research.
Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services, http://www.imls.gov