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SLIS launches Library Scholar Program

Posted January 22, 2018
Photo: SLIS representatives conducted orientation for Charleston cohort participants.

The College of Information and Communications and Charleston County School District have established the first cohort in the School of Library and Information Science’s Library Scholar Program.

Through the program, district employees planning to transition into school librarian roles will be admitted as Master of Library and Information Science students at SLIS. The cohort will help Charleston County schools meet critical workforce needs while creating networked leaders in the field on a local, state-wide and national level. Upon graduation, school librarians will collaborate with district faculty and administrators to make a positive impact on student literacy and information analysis within the district.

“Charleston’s schools are working to support one of the most vibrant and growing communities in the country,” said Dr. David Lankes, director of SLIS. “We both feel that strong school libraries are a vital part of that service. Tomorrow’s workforce needs information literacy skills, tomorrow’s citizens need great research skills, and today’s students need a solid literacy foundation.”

CCSD employees who are a part of the inaugural cohort have agreed to a minimum five-year commitment to the school district.   

In addition to earning a top-ranked education from the only American Library Association-accredited program in the state, University of South Carolina Library Scholar participants will see their experience enhanced through inspirational speakers, in-organization internships, and memberships in regional and national library organizations.

“The Charleston Library Scholars are a national model of leadership in school libraries,” Lankes said. “Where other regions of the nation are cutting library positions, the Charleston schools are investing. They are investing in certified school librarians that have been shown in study after study to have direct benefit to student progress. At the end of the day our library scholars can showcase the transformative power of our graduates in a focused setting. These settings then demonstrate the value, and increase opportunities, for all our graduates.”

“Our School of Library and Information Science is uniquely positioned to offer this innovative program,” said Dr. Tom Reichert, dean of the College of Information and Communications. “Strengthening literacy is one of the most powerful ways to transform a community, and we’re excited to see how our efforts impact Charleston and the communities of future cohort participants.”

The Library Scholar Program is open to any library-supporting organizations, including school districts, public libraries and universities. Cohorts are comprised of eight to 12 participants. For more information, contact Mike Corbo at

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