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SLIS hosts nationwide meeting of libraries and LIS educators

Posted Nov. 28, 2017

The School of Library and Information Science expanded its national visibility by hosting a Nov. 7 meeting for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Attendees discussed how the Laura Bush 21st Century Library program can support library and information science institutions and foster diversity within the profession, positioning their graduate programs for 21st century practice.

IMLS is the primary federal funder of library research and education in the country. In addition to the agency’s staff, 45 of the 52 American Library Association-accredited LIS programs, as well as representatives from state, public, academic libraries, and representatives were in attendance.

The gathering provided an opportunity for SLIS to highlight the work of its faculty and doctoral students through a poster session and participation on the meeting’s steering committee.

“We had an incredible day with our peers from other top programs around the country to provide thoughts and feedback to IMLS,” said Dr. David Lankes, director of the school. “The Laura Bush program is especially important because it focuses on attracting the best people into librarianship, and ensuring that librarians have the skills they need to serve their communities.”

Past IMLS Laura Bush projects have funded the development of data science curriculum for academic libraries, building standards for community engagement in urban environments, and building doctoral programs in library and information science such as the one offered by the School of Library and Information Science. The program, now entering its 15th year, is gathering key stakeholders and thought leaders to explore how IMLS, as a federal grant-making agency, can support LIS programs to best achieve the goals of the LB21 program.

Discussions and views from the Columbia convening will be released as a white paper.

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