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College of Information and Communications


Library of Congress awards major grant to library school

Published August 1, 2016


For the first time in its ten-year history, the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program has awarded a 2017 grant to the USC School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). 

The $87,459 grant will bolster the school’s outreach to school librarians and teachers in South Carolina.  Through this project, K-12 educators around the state will learn about primary sources available through the Library of Congress, including civil rights resources, and how to effectively use them in their libraries and classrooms.  Pre-service school librarians and teachers at USC will also be taught how to use these resources, through their courses at SLIS and the College of Education (COE).

The SLIS faculty — Dr. Karen Gavigan, Dr. Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Gerry Solomon will partner with the following organizations to implement the project:

  • USC College of Education
  • USC Digital Libraries
  • SC Department of Education
  • South Carolina Association of School Librarians
  • Follett School Solutions (In-Kind partner).

The tragic 2014 Charleston shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was a catalyst for the TPS-USC project.  As the former mayor of Charleston, Joe Riley, stated at the commencement speech at the 2015 winter graduation ceremony at USC, “I believe that if Dylan Roof, when he was in the 5th grade, had been taught all of American history if he understood the sacrifices and the harshness and the courage and the indomitable spirit of African Americans, then I believe he wouldn’t have been able to have bigotry in his heart. A knowledge of the contributions of African Americans would have prevented that.”

Dr. Karen Gavigan, who led the grant application process, stated, “The TPS-USC project is part of an effort to eliminate bigotry by helping K-12 students in South Carolina and beyond learn about the contributions of African Americans throughout history.”  As a member of the TPS Educational Consortium, the TPS-USC partners will be able to share their ideas, methods, and resources with librarians, teachers, and students nationwide, thanks to the Consortium’s access to networks and communities.

One of the objectives of the TPS-USC project is to teach librarians and teachers the “effective educational use of the Library’s resources," so that they can successfully integrate these resources into the South Carolina K-12 curriculum.  In order to meet this objective, the TPS-USC project’s initiatives include:

  • Professional development, using the train-the-trainer model, provided to practicing school librarians at five SC Department of Education regional workshops conducted statewide
  • Training, including civil-rights lesson plan development, provided for school librarians and partnering teachers at the SCASL Summer Institute in Columbia in June 2017
  • The creation of a TPS-USC website, which will feature lesson plans and other resources generated by the project.

The announcement about the grant is available here