Dept. of Library and Info Science awarded money

A grant of just under $1 million was awarded to the Division of Library and Information Sciences at St. John’s College, according to a St. John’s press release.

St. John’s Master of Library Science Program will receive this funding to provide students with the preparation necessary for careers in New York City libraries that are in need of support.

Starting next January, 20 students will enter the masters program and receive full-tuition scholarships on the basis that they will spend the three years after graduation serving libraries in the metropolitan area. Another 20 will start in June.

Besides exploring issues confronting people of low-income communities, the students will volunteer their time to programs like “Teen Mothers Outreach” and “Homework NYC.” This will culminate in a presentation at a conference, similar to the one held by the American Library Association, according to a university press release.

“The impact of the plan will be the infusion of a committed cadre of new professionals into certain areas in urgent need of their contributions,” said Dr. Stacy Creele, Co-Director of the grant, in a university press release.

Under the “Laura Bush 21 Century Librarian Program,” the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded $988, 419 to the St. John’s University Division of Library and Information Science in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
While there were 107 applicants for this grant, 43 grants were awarded.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.

This grant serves as recognition of St. John’s University’s support of the metropolitan area’s libraries while providing momentum for the continuation of the University’s services, according to the press release.

The success of St. John’s M.L.S. program relies on its partners, including the Office of School Library Services of the New York City Department of Education, the NY Hall of Science and the Queens Public Library System, which the Public Library Association recently ranked as No. 1 in the country, according to the press release.

Dr. Elizabeth Pollicino, Associate Director of the Division of Library and Information Science and co-director of the grant, noted, “It is a unique partnership that can take place only in a city as diverse and large as New York.”

Dr. Jeffery Olson added, “If we can engage needy children and families to effectively use public and school libraries, then they will have more opportunities to participate in society.”

Olson believes the library should play a larger role in the community and Pollicino agreed that “the full opportunities are not being used, particularly in pockets with a high concentration of underserved, including those of disadvantaged socioeconomic status, non-English-speaking, and new immigrants.”

Olson also stressed that this is the information age, noting, “The library isn’t just a building-they have online research as well and help of all kinds.”