CLIS Awarded Prestigious IMLS Grant

For immediate release

Funding for Doctoral Students to Advance Knowledge of Children's Information Needs and Digital Technology

The College of Information Studies (CLIS) has received a 2005 Librarians for the 21st Century Grant award from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This award of $370,300 will fund education for four doctoral students who are interested in teaching and conducting research in the area of children's information resources and services and digital libraries.

The doctoral students will gain practical research experience through studies involving the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL), a collaborative effort of CLIS and the University of Maryland Human-Computer Interaction Lab. The focus of the ICDL (http://www.childrenslibrary.org) is to investigate the impact of digital libraries on collection development and children's services and to develop new technologies for children. The doctoral students will also receive experience in the design and implementation of new courses in digital technologies and children's services.

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 new librarians and a greater number of professional positions are going unfilled. Additionally, a large percentage of library directors and other senior librarians are expected to retire in the next twenty years. Consequently, the shortage of professional librarians, especially of those in leadership positions, is likely to increase.

The 37 IMLS grants awarded to organizations throughout the country will benefit 22 doctoral, 567 master's, 378 continuing education, and 538 pre-professional students, and fund two research projects. The Institute's approach to recruiting and educating a new generation of librarians is multi-faceted. These grants include tuition assistance, curriculum development, service expectations, job placement, recruitment of non-traditional library students, support for doctoral candidates to teach library science, and research.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent Federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities.

For additional information about the Ph.D. program in Information Studies or the application process at the University of Maryland College Park, please refer to the CLIS Web site (http://www.clis.umd.edu) or contact Dr. Ann Carlson Weeks (acweeks@umd.edu) or Dr. Allison Druin (allisond@umiacs.umd.edu).

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