Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grants

The University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) has been awarded the prestigious Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant to train students in digital librarianship. The Co-Principle Investigators on the project are Jim Elmborg, Associate Professor at SLIS, and Paul Soderdahl, Director of Library Information Systems for the University Libraries.

The 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 twenty years.

The three-year grant of $918,589 will be used by the School to recruit and train two cohorts of ten students each in the area of digital librarianship. Guided by seasoned mentors, students will participate in digital library projects and services at partner units: the UI Libraries, the WiderNet Project, the International Writing program and Academic Technologies. The project was created in response to the national need for trained digital librarians as articulated by the IMLS initiative for the 21st Century Librarian.