UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

$900,000 Grant to Recruit Minority Librarians

A federal grant of almost $900,000 will help the Department of Library and Information Studies recruit minority students.

The $889,401 grant is one of 39 awarded during this grant cycle by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS received 110 applications requesting more than $68,242,619.

The grant results from a team effort between Library and Information Studies and the UNCG University Libraries.

The funds will be used to recruit 15 minority students into UNCG’s Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program. The grant covers tuition and fees, student health insurance, stipends and expenses to attend a national conference.

The program also provides the students with internship opportunities at 10 participating academic libraries in North Carolina, pairs them with experienced librarians for mentoring and offers them cultural enrichment activities during the two-year MLIS program.

“This grant is a timely infusion to help increase the number of the students from underserved communities into the MLIS program,” said Dr. Sha Li Zhang, project director/principal investigator and assistant dean for collections and technical services for University Libraries.

Zhang and her team won a federal grant of $862,000 in June 2008 from IMLS. This initial federal grant supported the creation of the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholars Program (ACE) at UNCG.

“We are very happy to receive the second grant which will build on the success of the initial cohort. More culturally diverse students enrolling and graduating from library and information studies programs will result in the much needed increased diversity in the library profession,” Zhang said.

Rosann Bazirjian, dean of the University Libraries, points out that in these times of tight budgets, the grant will enable students to obtain a degree and the skills necessary to be the best professional academic librarians they can, and do so with an understanding about working in a diverse world of many cultures.

The co-principal investigators for the grant are Bazirjian; Dr. Clara M. Chu, chair of the Library and Information Studies department; Gerald Holmes, reference librarian/diversity coordinator for University Libraries; and Dr.. Julie Hersberger and Dr. Lee Shiflett, professors in Library and Information Studies.

Participating libraries are: High Point University, Wake Forest University, Guilford College, Elon, NC A&T, Livingston College, Johnson C. Smith University, Winston-Salem State University and Bennett College for Women.