Institute of Museum and Library Sciences: Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program
The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public by:
- Enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals
- Developing faculty and library leaders
- Recruiting, educating, and retaining the next generation of library and archives professionals
This work may be achieved through projects at various phases of maturity (exploring, piloting, scaling, or enhancing). Indicators of successful projects in the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program are as follows:
- Broad impact: Successful projects address key needs, high priority gaps, and opportunities for the training and education of library and archives professionals. They should expand the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the workforce, demonstrate potential for far-reaching impact across size and complexity of institutions, and influence theory and practice.
- Current significance: Successful projects address a critical issue or opportunity for library and archives professionals and build on current strategic initiatives, knowledge, and agendas in these fields. They should be based on a clear understanding of existing work and the broader environments (e.g., economic, demographic, technological, social) in which library and archives professionals operate. It is important to identify, assess, and manage project risks as well as to identify project outcomes and impacts.
- Strategic collaborations: Successful projects involve key stakeholders and partners. These collaborations should establish or deepen strategic relationships and partnerships or engage intermediaries, both inside and outside of the library and archival fields. Collaborations strengthen expertise, leverage resources and relationships, expand development or implementation of services, and elevate the role of library and archives professionals.
- Demonstrated expertise: Successful projects articulate a thorough understanding of the current state of and gaps in relevant theory and practice. They should establish how the team possesses the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge to realize significant shifts across the field. They should demonstrate sound theoretical framing as well as the realities of professional practice.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion: Successful projects thoughtfully address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. They should strive to broaden participation in the library and archives profession through the recruitment, education, and retention of a diverse workforce. They should strive to promote the successful participation of students and trainees from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds and empower library and archives professionals to provide inclusive services to diverse communities.
The funding categories are:
- National Forum
- Research in Service to Practice
The project categories are:
- Lifelong Learning
- Community Catalysts
- National Digital Infrastructures and Initiatives
The project types are:
- Early Career Development
- Continuing Education
Amount: Approximately $8,000,000 is available to make up to 30 awards. Award ranges are dependent upon funding category, as follows:
- Planning Grants: Up to $100,000
- National Forum Grants: Up to $150,000
- Project Grants: Up to $1,000,000
- Research in Service to Practice Grants: Up to $500,000
The average amount of funding per award experienced in previous years is $262,287. Project Grants requesting more than $249,999 require 1:1 cost share, excluding student support costs.
Eligibility: Applicants must: be either a unit of State or local government or be a private, nonprofit institution that has nonprofit status under the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, applicants must qualify as one of the following six types of organizations:
- A library or a parent organization, such as a school district, a municipality, a State agency, or an academic institution, that is responsible for the administration of a library. Eligible libraries include: public libraries; public elementary and secondary school libraries; tribal libraries; college (including community college) and university libraries; research libraries and archives that are not an integral part of an institution of higher education and that make publicly available library services and materials that are suitable for scholarly research and not otherwise available; private or other special library, but only if the State in which such private or special library is located determines that the library should be considered a library for the purposes of the Library Services and Technology subchapter.
- An academic or administrative unit, such as a graduate school of library and information science that is part of an institution of higher education through which it would make an application.
- A digital library, if it makes library materials publicly available and provides library services, including selection, organization, description, reference, and preservation, under the supervision of at least one permanent professional staff librarian.
- A library agency that is an official agency of a State or other unit of government and is charged by the law governing it with the extension and development of public library services within its jurisdiction.
- A library consortium that is a local, statewide, regional, interstate, or international cooperative association of library entities that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of eligible libraries, as defined above, and information centers that work to improve the services delivered to the clientele of these libraries.
- A library association or library organization that exists on a permanent basis; serves libraries or library professionals on a national, regional, State, or local level; and engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of libraries and the library profession.
All eligible entities may apply, either individually or collaboratively, to the Pre-Professional, Master’s-level, and Continuing Education project types. Doctoral-level Only graduate departments offering programs of study at the doctoral-level for library or information science, or school library media, are eligible to apply for funding of doctoral-level scholarships and fellowships, either individually or collaboratively. For Early Career Development, projects must have a single project director with no co-project directors. Consultants and students may be included in the project. By the deadline for submission of Full Proposals, the project director must: hold a doctoral degree; be tenure-track, untenured library and information science faculty; and have both educational and research responsibilities. If invited to submit a Full Proposal, proposals must include a letter of departmental endorsement, verifying that the project director meets the above criteria.
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