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Deadline: February 2, 2016

Institute of Museum and Library Services: Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports professional development, graduate education, and continuing education to help libraries and archives develop the human capital capacity they need to meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public.

The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is especially interested in supporting proposals to address the following agency priorities:

  • National digital platform
  • Learning in libraries

In particular, the IMLS seeks to support academic programs, professional development, and continuing education programs that address issues raised at a series of focused IMLS convenings in 2015 that identified issues in the National Digital Platform and Learning in Libraries areas, among other topics. These include:

  • Digital services (content curation, user services, and infrastructure design and management)
  • Participatory or lifelong learning services (maker spaces, learning labs, digital media studios, etc.)
  • Community engagement, especially engagement that leads to broadband adoption
  • Applied research that fosters meaningful connections among researchers, practitioners, and constituencies
  • Mentorship, service learning, and practical models for development
  • Supporting STEM learning
  • Supporting projects that build capacity to embrace open-ended design challenges and proactive service developments

Funding categories for the LB21 program include:

  • Project Grants: Support for fully developed projects for which needs assessments, collaboration development, feasibility analyses, prototyping, and other planning activities have been completed
  • Planning Grants: Allow project teams to perform preliminary planning activities, such as analyzing needs and feasibility, solidifying collaboration, developing project work plans, or developing prototypes or proofs of concept
  • National Forum Grants: Provide the opportunity to convene qualified groups of experts and key stakeholders to consider issues or challenges that are important to libraries or archives across the nation
  • Research Grants: Support for the investigation of key questions important to library or archival practice

LB21 project categories include:

1. Masters-level and Doctoral-level programs: Master’s programs work to educate the next generation of librarians and archivists in nationally accredited graduate library programs to meet the evolving needs of the profession and society. Doctoral programs work to: develop faculty to educate the next generation of library and archives professionals and to develop the next generation of library and archives leaders to assume positions as managers and administrators.

2. Research and early career development: Research activities include investigating issues and trends affecting library and archival practices. Early career development includes supporting the early career development of new faculty members in library and information science by supporting innovative research by untenured, tenure-track faculty.

3. Continuing education programs and programs to build institutional capacity: Continuing education programs work to improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of library and archives staff through programs of continuing education, both formal and informal, including post-master’s programs such as certificates of advanced study, residencies, enhanced work experiences, and other training programs for professional staff. Programs to build institutional capacity include: 1) developing or enhancing curricula within graduate schools of library and information science to better meet the needs of cultural heritage and information professionals; 2) broadening the library and information science curriculum by incorporating perspectives from other disciplines and fields of scholarship; and 3) developing projects or programs of study to increase the abilities of future library and archives professionals in developing the 21st century skills of their users, including information and digital literacy skills.

Amount: A total of $10,000,000 will be awarded to an anticipated 22 organizations. Project Grants range from $50,000 to $1,000,000; Planning Grants range up to $50,000; National Forum Grants range up to $100,000; and Research Grants range up to $500,000.

Eligibility: Unit of state or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code and qualify as one of the following:

  • 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
    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 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 person
  • 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 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

Link: https://www.imls.gov/nofo/laura-bush-21st-century-librarian-program-fy16-2-notice-funding-opportunity

Note: The February 2 deadline is for preliminary proposals. If invited, a full proposal will be due June 1, 2016.

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