Thanks to a $343,682 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Nebraska Library Commission will develop a marketing campaign to raise awareness of and identify prospects for library service careers.
Through the $19 million 2004 Recruiting and Educating Librarians for the 21st Century grant program, high school and college students will be recruited, matched with mentors and educational opportunities, and provided with stipends, grants, or scholarships to support the pursuit of pre-professional and professional education. A multimedia campaign and resources will be developed in both English and Spanish to achieve a more diverse cadre of library professionals in Nebraska.
The grant application resulted from the work of the Recruitment and Retention Task Force, created by the Nebraska Library Commission to recommend strategies and actions to attract new workers to library service careers and to train and support current library workers. The task force, which first met in November 2002, was created in response to a recommendation from the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries and was prompted by the need to fill current and expected job vacancies.
The project, Recruiting the Next Generation of Nebraska Librarians @ the Movies, will:
• Develop a marketing campaign to raise awareness and identify prospects for library service careers.
• Recruit talented and diverse library personnel, matching them with mentor/recruiters and educational/employment opportunities at whatever rung of the career/education ladder they can enter.
• Provide grants, scholarships, and stipends to support the pursuit of pre-professional and professional training.
This project will increase the number of students enrolled in pre-professional and professional education or training. The primary strategy is a one-on-one, each-one-recruit-one, mentoring approach. The Recruitment phase focuses on raising awareness, stereotype busting, and enticing young adults (high school, college) and pre-professional library workers into library skills training at whatever rung of the career/education ladder they can enter. Increasing the number of professionally trained librarians in Nebraska is the ultimate goal.
Mentor/recruiters will be trained to use a multi-media campaign (including a movie trailer, print and broadcast communication, Web resources, and 3-D exhibits/displays) to identify and inform prospects about the opportunities for rewarding careers in library service. The resources will be made available to K-12, Postsecondary, and public library staff, as well as library supporters and advocates, helping them to form a statewide network of mentor/recruiters. The Education phase will match prospects with appropriate educational resources at whatever rung of the career/education ladder they can enter, providing student stipends and internships. The Employment phase will match prospects with appropriate employment resources at whatever rung of the career/education ladder they can enter, providing employment stipends and internships.
IMLS is an independent Federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating
and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve
their communities. For more information see the Library Commission home page
or contact Mary Jo Ryan, Nebraska Library Commission Communications
Coordinator, 402-471-3434, 800-307-2665, e-mail: Mary Jo Ryan