Program to prepare the next generation of information stewards gets funding boost

Release date: 
November 16, 2009

Dr. Helen Tibbo, School of Information and Library Science (SILS) professor, and Dr. Christopher "Cal" Lee, SILS assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have received an $803,258 grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS) for a program called "Educating Stewards of Public Information in the Twenty-First Century" (ESOPI-21).

The program  is designed to "prepare the next generation of public information stewards" by developing fellowships, curricula, courses and experiential components designed specifically for the needs of public sector information professionals. This 3-year project builds on the accomplishments of the IMLS-funded DigCCurr I & II projects in digital curation curriculum development.  ESOPI-21 focuses on the development, and integration of technical and organizational policies to support the responsible stewardship of public information (e.g. agency records, datasets, citizens’ information).

The project will provide fellowships to two cohorts of students who will enroll in both the Masters of Science (in Library Science or Information Science) program at SILS  and Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program at the UNC School of Government (SOG). The dual degree program is the only MSIS/MSLS/MPA program of its kind in the United States.

Please watch for an invitation to participate in the Fellowships on the SILS Web site an via various online forums and mailing lists soon.

Participants in ESOPI-21 will work to "integrate policy development, issues of legal compliance, extensive knowledge of government structures and information with archival principles, digital curation fundamentals, electronic records management workflows and information technologies."

ESOPI-21 is a collaboration of SILS and UNC's SOG and has internships hosted at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration; North Carolina's Department of Cultural Resources, Archives and Records Section; and UNC at Chapel Hill's University Archives.