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Three Libraries in South Central Region win Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Awards

Three librarians in the South Central Region win Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grants. This program supports efforts to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians and the faculty who will prepare them for careers in library science.

El Paso Public Library, El Paso, TX; Houston Public Library, Houston, TX; and Rose State College, Midwest City, OK each received a grant to administer a recruitment program.

El Paso Public Library Association – “Library Leadership Development Institute – Grow our Own Area Librarians (GOAL)”

The El Paso Public Library Association, Inc., will partner with the regional El Paso Area Libraries Consortium and People Skills, Inc., to establish a Library Leadership Development Institute, which will conduct two programs in the nine-county Trans-Pecos border region of Texas. One program is designed to identify at least 100 individuals–students, teachers, library workers, and other adults–who show an interest in and an aptitude for becoming librarians and to give them hands-on library experience as volunteers or scholarship-paid workers, while they receive training about career options in the field. The other program identifies at least 15 college students pursuing library and information science degrees and provides them with financial assistance, guidance, counseling, mentoring, job placement, and other help.

Houston Public Library – “Fountain of Youth”

The Houston Public Library will partner with the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Science to recruit and educate 15 youth services librarians. The diverse pool of scholarship recipients will comprise ten current Houston Public Library staff members without master’s degrees in library and information science (MLIS) and five applicants from outside the library system. Special emphasis will be on recruiting applicants who are bilingual in Spanish, Chinese, or Vietnamese to better serve the diverse local community. In addition to receiving an MLIS degree from the University of North Texas with a concentration in youth services, the participants will attend specialized training sessions related to youth services and librarianship, receive ongoing mentoring, and be provided with employment opportunities at the Houston Public Library and other library systems upon completion of the program.

Rose State College – “Information Matrix Camp”

Rose State College will partner with the Oklahoma Library Association to host a weeklong summer youth camp for 90 middle school students (30 each summer) ages 12 to 15. The goals of the camp are to promote librarianship and to encourage teens to consider library careers. In addition to library-related activities that demonstrate the fun aspects of librarianship, field trips to libraries and museums in central Oklahoma will enable students to learn about the different types of libraries and library careers available.

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