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School of Information Awarded $1.3 Million from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services

The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded two grants totaling more than $1.3 million from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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AUSTIN, Texas—The School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded two grants totaling more than $1.3 million from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

"We have made education of leaders for the information field a strategic part of our mission," said Andrew Dillon, dean of the School of Information. "Awards of this kind are both a recognition of the efforts we are making and a means by which we can attract the very best students to our program."

The school was awarded $911,928 to develop faculty leaders in preservation education and to produce high-level administrators for major cultural repositories who are educated in preservation.

The doctoral program will be led by principal investigator Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, director of the William and Margaret Kilgarlin Center for the Preservation of the Cultural Record. Cunningham-Kruppa, with associate professors Philip Doty and Patricia Galloway, will recruit and mentor five doctoral students in academic programs focusing on preservation of digital objects, conservation and preservation administration.

The four-year effort will result in five students forming a cohort, to be identified as doctoral preservation fellows.

A master’s level program, "Stepping Up: Library Leaders for the 21st Century," received $407,780 from the IMLS. The program is designed to increase the number of professional librarians prepared for leadership positions and to support a series of management workshops for the library community.

Eleven librarians interested in earning a master’s degree in library and information science will receive tuition, a small stipend and a laptop and will be matched with program mentors.

The program, led by principal investigator Lynn Westbrook, assistant professor, includes support from Loriene Roy, professor; Quinn Stewart, manager of computer services; and Ron Pollock, director of career services. The university will partner with four academic and four public libraries for the project.

The grants are part of a $28 million allocation under the 2007 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian program. The program supports tuition assistance, curriculum development, service expectations, job placement, recruitment of non-traditional library students and support for doctoral candidates to teach library science and research.

"Well-equipped and educated librarians and pre-professionals are at the heart of effective library services," said Anne-Imelda Radice, director of IMLS. "The grants awarded through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program sharpen the skills of today’s library staff and train the next generation of library professionals and faculty."

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

For more information contact: Amy Maverick Crossette, School of Information, 512-573-1078.