WITH A FINAL BURST OF ENERGY, THE VENERABLE PROGRAM MOVES TO A NEW FEDERAL AGENCY
Current controversies over the future of library and information science education shouldn't blind the profession to the positive connections between librarianship and the education community. Last year was the last time funding was provided for the National Leadership Grants by the Department of Education under the Higher Education Act Title II-B; beginning this year the Institute of Museums and Library Services became the federal unit that will administer the program (AL, Nov., p. 36).
With the recent retirement of Robert Klassen, director of library programs in the Education Department's Office of Educational Research and Improvement, who oversaw the HEA Title II-B program for 30 years, it is a fitting time to highlight some of the final institutes funded under that program. These range from the integration of teaching in the classroom through a partnership of school libraries and technologists to visits to farmworkers' labor camps to understand the literacy needs of migrant children.
During the summer of 1998, many educators of professionals at the front lines worked together to configure stronger library services and to develop leadership for the next decade.
Association for Research Libraries: Leadership and Career Development Program (www.arl.org/diversity/Icdp.html)
Racial- and ethnic-minority librarians got the opportunity to enhance their competitiveness for leadership positions in academic and research libraries through this institute, administered through the Association for Research Libraries' Diversity Program. Twenty-one minority librarians participated in the 1997-98 class, selected from a competitive applicant pool representing a diverse combination of library experiences, cultural backgrounds, and research interest areas.
The first component consisted of two institutes to train experienced and promising minority librarians in advanced leadership skills (held February 8-13, 1998, in Palm Coast, Florida, and May 24-29, 1998, in San Diego).
The second component was a career development and support program in which participants established mentoring relationships and pursued practical projects. Research topics developed included Elayne Walstedter's "Recruitment of Native Americans and Latinos into the Library Profession," Tracey Joel Hunter's "Information-Seeking Behavior of African-American Students at an Urban ARL," and Nerea Llamas's "Evaluating the Instruction Needs of Faculty and Students in the Humanities." The research on diversity, leadership, and career issues resulting from this component will be highlighted in ARL's publication series, Leading Ideas (www.arl.org/diversity/leading/).
Recognizing that the mentoring they experienced was vital to their own development, the LCD class has formed a partnership with the 1997 - 98 ALA Spectrum Initiative Scholars as part of the mentoring component of the initiative.
Florida State University, School of Information Studies: Information Professionals Engage Radical Change: Connecting Youth, Books, and the Electronic World (slis-one. lis. fsu.edu/radical/)
"We'll work together in ways we never have before," said one participant, whose Miami group "danced and sang" the results of their work during the wrap-up session of the institute, held June 19-24.
Energetic teams of information professionals who work with economically and ethnically diverse youth in Tallahassee, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami held daily action planning sessions on how to "radicalize" their communities through school-public system cooperative efforts based on digital-age resources. Each team developed a "Tier One" major plan, plus monthly plans of action that can be viewed at the institute's Web site. Graduate students created the Web site, and organized, taught, and staffed the institute alongside nine youth and faculty co-directors Eliza T. Dresang, Pamela Barron, and Kathleen Burnett.
Speakers on the three types of radical change identified by Dresang in Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age (H. W. Wilson, 1998) included author Peter Sis, filmmaker Barbara Bryant, researcher Kate Baggott, author/interviewer Susan Kuklin, and editor/author Marc Aronson. There were connections galore as these guests and 10 others led more than 25 sessions for 45 participants on digital-world resources, issues (with an intellectual freedom emphasis), and innovative resource uses, including digital storytelling by Thom Gillespie of the University of Indiana. Institute directors hope to develop a widely available Web-based course using the institute content.
University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science: Institute on Developing Curriculum and Assessments for Information Literacy
The week-long institute began July 13, when 32 school library media specialists from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota arrived in Iowa City for a week of learning experiences with the institute leaders, Jean Donham, UI SLIS assistant professor, and June Gross, head of the Blake Upper School Library Media Services in Minneapolis.
During the week, participants compared several information-processing models and discussed the value of models as guides to curriculum development, tools for communication with teachers, and mental models of the research process for students. They also examined the Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning published by ALA's American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, explored a variety of assessment techniques, weighed the quality of actual assignments using criteria developed by Fred M. Newmann and Gary G. Wehlage of the University of Wisconsin, and identified a variety of strategies for developing collaborative partnerships with teachers. Lessons on evaluation of information found on the World Wide Web were developed, and a sample framework for information literacy curriculum design was reviewed and modified to fit their respective schools.
The quality of participants in combination with the instructional strategies employed by the institute leaders kept everyone actively engaged and focused on the substantive content.
During the school year, participants will sustain this newly created and highly focused community of learners via a Web site that includes an electronic bulletin board, links to relevant Web sites, a "student presentation" area posting documents, and a class e-mail system. Eight sites will be visited to videotape lessons or assessments that will be shared in June 1999, when all participants will return to Iowa City for a two-day wrap-up session.
Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science: Institute on Networked Access in Libraries
The institute was attended by 45 public, school, special, and academic librarians from all regions of Louisiana. Faculty members Carol Barry and Dave Robins coordinated the institute and presented key sessions. The objective of the institute was to allow the participants to acquire basic competencies in providing networked access to information resources.
The opening session keynote speaker was Joseph Janes, director of the Internet Public Library, on the "Future of Librarianship in an Electronic Age." Participants attended three instructional sessions each day and then worked in the SLIS computer lab in the evening. Instructional sessions included: "Local Area Networks - Basic Concepts and Terminology"; "Telecommunications and Internet Connections Basic Concepts"; "Hardware Troubleshooting"; "Workstation Security"; "Internet Filtering"; "Library Web Page Design"; "Working with Library Vendors"; "Louisiana Library Network Resources"; and "Networks in Libraries - The Experiences of Librarians." The final day participants broke into small groups and came up with strategies to go back and share what they had learned during the institute with colleagues at their libraries.
At the Louisiana Library Association conference next March, most of the participants will gather to discuss the usefulness of the institute and the extent to which they have been able to share this information with their staffs. Although the institute did not have a Web site, the winter 1999 issue of the Louisiana Library Association Bulletin will contain articles by the presenters, most of whom were LSU SLIS alumni.
This was the fourth such Title II-B-sponsored continuing education institute offered by the School of Library and Information Science since 1995, demonstrating the school's commitment to the continuing education of the state's professionals.
University of Minnesota Libraries: Training Institute for Library Science Interns and Residents (www.lib.umn.edu/obout/institute.html)
In July the University of Minnesota Libraries held a training institute for early career librarians from traditionally underrepresented groups who were current or recent participants in library internship and residency programs. Participants represented 15 institutions (including one in Canada), primarily large academic libraries. The institute had a twofold focus, combining training in new telecommunication and multimedia technologies with training in leadership and organizational behavior. Creating a long-term community of peers for mutual support and networking was a primary goal.
Twenty librarians spent a week on the University of Minnesota/Twin Cities campus, attending workshops and hands-on sessions in computer laboratories. Kathryn Deiss and DeEtta Jones of the Association of Research Libraries led workshops in leadership, management, and decisionmaking skills. Training in the development of multimedia projects and use of new learning technologies across multiple formats was provided by staff members from the University Libraries, led by Kay Kane, and by staff from the Digital Media Center, a joint initiative of the University Libraries and the Office of Information Technology.
The Title II-B grant covered training, transportation expenses, housing and breakfasts in a campus dormitory, an opening reception and dinner, a concluding lunch, anti an Omega Zip drive used in the training sessions and kept afterward by participants.
Participants were unanimous in recommending that the institute become an ongoing program. They were pleased with the sessions' content and instructors. Participants' evaluations and their continuing activities and lively exchanges on Internet discussion lists indicate that the community developed during the institute is already a source of mutual support. Comments included, "This has been a wonderful experience. The combination of technology with leadership puts us in a position to address the changes going on in librarianship," and "Thank you for creating this forum and allowing us to connect with each other and learn the tools for building the libraries of tomorrow."
University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science: Internet Training Institute for School Librarians and School Technologists (ils.unc.edu/daniel/Internet/)
"Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how . . ." was the battle cry of 15 teams of public school librarians and school technologists as they rolled up their shirtsleeves and dived into Session Two of the Internet Training Institute in June 1998 (Session One was held in March).
The institute gave participants hands-on advanced training in telecommunications, network management, Internet resources, and multimedia. The trainees, who came from elementary, middle, and high schools throughout urban and rural North Carolina, spent their three-day session building and then using minicomputer networks. On their last day, the class took a field trip to the technologically progressive Orange County School District, where they heard from teams of technologists and teachers who shared their classroom Internet experiences and discussed the problems and opportunities they have experienced.
The institute was an attempt to connect the school technologist (a new position for many schools) and the librarian to get both professionals working as a team to provide support throughout their school. Together, librarians and technologists train teachers and children in their districts in the use of the Internet. Often, in collaboration with teachers, school librarians develop lesson plans to ensure that Internet use is coordinated with curriculum goals. "It's very clear that once you start pouring technology into schools someone must service and take care of it as well as teach and demonstrate it," said SILS Professor Evelyn Daniel. "If the school librarian becomes the technologist, then they've lost the school librarian, and that's a big problem."
Daniel, coordinator of UNC/Chapel Hill's library media program, led the Internet Training Institute along with Director of Computing Scott Barker, Director of Instructional Technology Kristin Chaffin, and Director of Networking Systems Jim Gogan. More than 100 persons applied to the institute. In order to qualify for selection, applicants were required to have used e-mail regularly, their schools had to be connected to the Internet, and their districts were expected to provide transportation and substitute teachers. The one-year pilot project concluded in November with a final segment on developing Internet lesson plans and examining unresolved problems.
University of South Florida School of Library and Information Science: Institute on Library Services to Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Florida (www.cos.usf.edu/lis/migrant/MIGRANT.html)
Forty school, public, and community-college librarians representing 14 Florida counties, the State Library of Florida, and two Texas cities met in Tampa June 14-19 to learn how to increase and improve library services to migrant and seasonal farmworker families. The participants were given daily language and culture instruction by USF SLIS faculty member Sonia Ramirez Wohlmuth. By the end of the week, participants were able to write signs, posters, and flyers in Spanish for their libraries.
Project faculty Marilyn H. Karrenbrock Stauffer and Derrie Roark Perez facilitated community and state resource specialists who reviewed demographics and guidelines for community collaboration, while USF SLIS faculty members, myself and James Carey provided planning and evaluation sessions.
Participants spent an eye-opening but extraordinary day touring the Sanwa Growers and the Deseret Farms, as well as the Beth-el Farmworkers Mission and the Hillsborough County School System Migrant Worker Program. Local collection development librarians provided detailed examples of policies for Spanish-language material, programming specific to Spanish-speaking populations, and marketing tactics. Several Spanish-language materials distributors brought items to display and provided insights into the workings of foreign-language publishers.
The institute ended with a marvelous performance from a bilingual storyteller. Florida youth services librarians are looking forward to a second, related institute that will build on the work of the Service to Farmworker program to be held in March 1999 at USF SLIS on Library Services to Youth of Hispanic Heritage; for more information, see the institute's Web site at www.cas.usf.edu/lis/hispanic/.
On to the Summit
This brief look at some of the programs funded under the final year of HEA Title II-B demonstrates that the library profession and its schools have a deep-rooted partnership of mutual teaching and learning. The Library Education Summit to be hosted by ALA next spring (AL, Nov., p. 6) will be an opportunity to examine future directions for integration and support. The achievements of HEA Title II-B programs and institutes exemplify the maturation of the discipline of library and information science and its practice.
- Information contributed by DeEtta Jones, program officer for diversity, ARL; Eliza T. Dresang, associate professor, FSU SIS; Jean Donham, assistant professor, UI SLIS; Carol Barry, associate professor, LSU SLIS; Peggy Johnson, assistant university librarian, University of Minnesota Libraries; Evelyn H. Daniel, professor, UNC/CH SLIS; Dertie Roark Perez, assistant professor, USF SLIS; and Catherine Jasper, Tampa-Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Library System.
Contributing Editor KATHLEEN DE LA PENA McCOOK is director of the University of South Florida School of Library and Information Science. She is a former president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education.…