DUBLIN, Ohio, 7 November 2017—OCLC is partnering with libraries, library schools and organizations on four projects that were recently awarded grants through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These projects will further IMLS goals to enhance the training and professional development of librarians, faculty and library leaders, and educate the next generation of librarians.
"OCLC was created 50 years ago to help libraries collaborate, and that spirit of collaboration still drives the cooperative," said Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC Vice President Research and Chief Strategist. "We continue to work with leading libraries and academic institutions to advance education and scholarship, and we're grateful to IMLS for the grants that make this important work possible."
Supercharged Storytimes for All
As project lead, OCLC will expand Supercharged Storytimes, the early literacy curriculum developed by its WebJunction program in collaboration with Washington State Library and the University of Washington, and deploy it nationally for all library practitioners to access. In partnership with New York State Library, Minnesota State Division of Library Services, and Southeast Florida Library Information Network, WebJunction will train 20 expert online trainers to deliver the curriculum across five to eight state and regional systems. WebJunction will also train 100 facilitators from across the country to guide group staff learning in their libraries. Through Supercharged Storytimes, librarians will be able to plan storytime using research-based early literacy techniques, and will be equipped with approaches to reach underserved communities, engage parents and caregivers, and measure program outcomes. Collaborators on the project include the Public Library Association and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Skills for Community-Centered Librarianship
OCLC's WebJunction program will produce webinars and disseminate resources to support this project led by the Free Library of Philadelphia, which will develop library staff outreach, program development and leadership skills that are essential to fostering and sustaining community-centered librarianship. The project partners will shape, test, and refine a curriculum, initially benefiting 250 to 300 library staff, and then deliver it to the broader library field. In addition to OCLC, partners include the American Library Association and an advisory board composed of LIS faculty and professionals from multiple public library systems, small and large.
LIS Education and Data Science for the National Digital Platform
Drexel University's LEADS program is a transformative doctoral training initiative grounded in library science foundations that integrates a new focus on data science. The program will select 18 library school doctoral students across the country to participate in an online course and an intensive three-day data science boot camp at Drexel University in preparation for a 10-week data science internship. Students will intern with a LEADS project partner, including OCLC Research, to apply their coursework in a real-world library setting while conducting original research. The program will result in a cohort of future faculty members who can bring data science knowledge and skills into library graduate schools across the country.
Library as Research Lab: Immersive Research Education and Engagement
This University of Michigan project will develop a new library-as-research-lab model in LIS education and professional development. The project will help to build research skills and professional capabilities in the academic library workforce, and foster and enhance mentoring capabilities in the profession. As one of four advisory board members, OCLC Research's Lynn Silipigni Connaway will provide her expertise in investigating how participating students and librarians achieve competencies in research skills and what other educational benefits they gain from the project.
Learn more about IMLS grants on the website: www.imls.gov/grants.
OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world's collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.