The TRLN Doctoral Fellowship Program is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal agency that fosters leadership, innovation and a lifetime of learning. IMLS supports all types of museums, from art and history to science and zoos, and all types of libraries and archives, from public and academic to research and school. IMLS expands the educational benefit of these institutions by encouraging partnerships.
The IMLS program Librarians for the 21st Century supports efforts to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians and the faculty who will prepare them for careers in library science. It also supports grants for research related to library education and library staffing needs, curriculum development, and continuing education and training. Additional information can be found in the pages Current Grantee Resources.
SILS selected for IMLS grant to educate librarians for 21st century.
November 6, 2003
by Catherine Lazorko
The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $496,370 project grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support doctoral students pursuing studies in academic librarianship. It was one of 27 programs selected for a share of a $10 million initiative aimed at recruiting “a new generation of librarians” to fill anticipated shortages due to pending retirements.
The UNC at Chapel Hill grant, titled “Recruiting and Educating Librarians for the 21st Century,” will support five doctoral students studying academic library research issues at SILS. They are expected to prepare for careers as library faculty. As part of the grant, attention will be given to recruiting minority doctoral candidates who can act as role models for future master’s and doctoral students.
“We are very excited about this dynamic partnership with the Triangle Research Libraries Network and the support received from the Association of Research Libraries and the Medical Library Association,” said SILS Dean Joanne Marshall, who serves as principal investigator for the grant. “We look forward to recruiting Ph.D. students who will link research to practice and contribute to the education of future cohorts of academic librarians.”
The program’s long-term goal is to increase the supply of academic librarians, as well as the quality and depth of the education received by future library professionals. Librarians, as a group, are aging at a faster rate than other professions. According to Library Journal magazine, 40 percent of the nation’s library directors plan to retire in nine years or less. While the trend affects all branches of the profession, studies have shown that academic librarianship – or, those librarians who work in university and college settings, will be in particularly short supply.
The program involves a partnership among four academic libraries -- UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University (NCSU) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU); two major library associations -- the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Medical Library Association (MLA); and senior library leaders who will act as mentors. Four of the selected doctoral students will be assigned to work on research issues at UNC, Duke, NCCU and NCSU. The fifth student will work jointly with the health sciences library directors of UNC and Duke.
The new doctoral students, to be named the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) Fellows, will be joining one of the strongest communities of library and information science faculty and doctoral students in the nation. SILS at UNC at Chapel Hill has an established doctoral program that celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2003. More than 60 doctorates in library and information science have been awarded by UNC at Chapel Hill. Many of the graduates have gone on to make significant leadership contributions to the field in both education and practice.
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