The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), in the University of Iowa Graduate College, was awarded a three-year, $918,589 grant to recruit and train 20 students in the area of digital librarianship. Padmini Srinivasan, professor and project director, was the recipient of the prestigious Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The project enables the school to contribute to the national pool of well-trained library professionals firmly grounded in librarianship and digital services. Co-principal investigators on the project are Jim Elmborg, SLIS associate professor, and Paul Soderdahl, director of library information systems for University Libraries.
Students supported by the grant will participate in digital library projects and services across campus units including the UI Libraries, the WiderNet Project, the International Writing Program and Academic Technologies.
“By educating students to become excellent digital librarians, we will contribute future leaders who promote information literacy and lifelong learning — capabilities recently proclaimed as a basic human right in a digital world by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions,” said Srinivasan.
“We are extremely excited by the possibilities offered by this grant,” adds Professor Jim Elmborg, director of the school. “It will allow us to work at the very cutting edge of libraries and librarianship and will help us prepare our students for an exciting future.”
Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program 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 Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to grow and sustain a “Nation of Learners.” To learn more about the institute, visit: http://www.imls.gov.