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Public Information and Communication

July 27, 2010

Mary Jo Ryan

IMLS Contact:
Jeannine Mjoseth,
202-653-4632 or

Nebraska Library Commission Awarded Prestigious Grant
from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to Support Library Education

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Nebraska Library Commission will administer funds to provide scholarships, internships, stipends, and value-added educational experiences to foster the recruitment, education, and 21st century skills development of pre-professional and professional students in Nebraska.

Nebraska Library Commission Director Rod Wagner commented, "The Nebraska Library Commission is pleased to receive a 2010 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant. The Commission's Cultivating Rural Librarians' 21st Century Skills program will support the education of Nebraska students engaged in pre-professional and professional programs. The focus on 21st century skills is essential to meeting the library service needs of Nebraska's diverse and changing population. We have high expectations that our program will equip hundreds of students with essential skills leading to higher quality library services across Nebraska."

"Library services are in great demand as evidenced by the growing numbers of patrons turning to the library to meet their education, workforce, and health information needs. At the same time, information technology has transformed library service and opened the doors to innovation so that libraries can reach diverse people more effectively. In this fast-changing environment, providing training and educational support for librarians and library staff is more important than ever," said IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel.

The Nebraska grant begins November 2010 and is supported by the following partners: Central Community College, Nebraska Educational Media Association, Nebraska Library Association, Nebraska's Regional Library Systems, RSL Research Group, University of Missouri, and University of Nebraska at Omaha. This is one of thirty-eight awards made to libraries and education institutions across the nation. This national, multifaceted grant program supports tuition assistance, curriculum development, service expectations, job placement, recruitment of non-traditional library students, and support for doctoral candidates to teach library science and research. In 2002 First Lady Laura Bush announced the President's multimillion-dollar support of an initiative to help bolster the library profession. Since then, IMLS has helped fund the education of 3,220 master's degree students, 186 doctoral students, 1,256 pre-professional students, and 26,186 continuing education students

As more information becomes available about Nebraska's Cultivating Rural Librarians' 21st Century Skills program, it will be posted on the website, or

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 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. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

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As Nebraska's state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services-"bringing together people and information." The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission website, (search on News Releases).

For more information, contact Tessa Terry.