Academics and Research / Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Library program gets grant of nearly $1 million

The University of Denver Morgridge College of Education Library and Information Science Program and its partners — DU’s Westminster Law Library (WLL) and the Sturm College of Law — will recruit and educate ten new law librarians, known as the Law Librarian Fellows, thanks to a grant of $999,360 from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The grant was one of 31 awards given to institutions nationwide as part of a $20.3 million initiative of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

“We are thrilled to have this funding for student fellowships and equally excited about the enormous potential for serving the law library community as well as the needs of rural lawyers,” says Mary Stansbury, chair of the Library and Information Science Program.

Partnering with law librarians on outreach initiatives from the State of Colorado Supreme Court Library, the law librarianship students will participate actively as members of the Rural and Small Practice Attorney Library Support Center at DU.

They will be assigned a list of clients and provide legal reference, document retrieval and other services under the guidance of Westminster law librarians. Clients will include rural attorneys, academic and public libraries with legal collections, rural government agencies, and non-governmental legal organizations serving low-income individuals and families.

“The grant will bring us law library fellows for two years and will permit the Westminster Law Library to work on outreach programs in Colorado with the Colorado Supreme Court,” says Beto Juárez, dean of the Sturm College of Law.

The 31 IMLS grantees will provide educational opportunities to library students and staff to strengthen Gulf Coast libraries; support school library media programs; increase the number of librarians, archivists, and library and information science professors; increase diversity in the library workforce and strengthen that workforce to better meet the needs of users of all types of libraries.

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

“Since the program began in 2003, the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program has awarded more than $100 million to recruit and train the next generation of librarians. Whether working in public schools, colleges or local public libraries, librarians are essential contributors toward student and community success,” says IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice.

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