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CIRLA Fellows Program Launched


     The University of Delaware Library, a member of the Chesapeake Information and Research Library Alliance (CIRLA), is a participant in the CIRLA Fellows Program which has received a $260,000 federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Program will help educate and provide professional library experience for a new generation of librarians. In addition to the University of Delaware, the other institutions participating are Georgetown University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Howard University, University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institute Libraries, the National Agricultural Library and the Library of Congress.

     The principal investigators for the University of Delaware Library are Susan Brynteson, The May Morris Director of Libraries, and Julie Brewer, Associate Librarian, Library Administrative Services. Georgetown University is the coordinator of the grant.

     The three-year CIRLA Fellows program will provide thirteen persons from diverse or underserved racial or ethnic populations with the educational, experiential and financial means to enter the field of research librarianship. CIRLA Fellows will receive full or part-time employment, extensive workplace-related training, mentorship and career development. After graduation with a Master of Library Science degree, each CIRLA Fellow will be provided with a one-year full-time professional position in one of the CIRLA Libraries.

     Based on recent demographic data, almost 58% of professional librarians will reach retirement age between 2005 and 2019. Minority student populations in universities are growing, but the minority representation of professional librarians in academic and research libraries is only 12%. The IMLS grant seeks to offset a critical national shortage of professionals entering the field of librarianship and to expand the diversity of library staff.

     The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners. The Institute fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation's 15,000 museums and 122,000 libraries. The Institute also encourages partnerships to expand the educational benefit of libraries and museums. More about the Institute can be learned on their website at [www.imls.gov]. More about the CIRLA Fellows Program is available at [cirlafellows.georgetown.edu].

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